Larisa Crowder, who won the Aiken County Spelling Bee last year, will again advance to the Regional Bee representing Aiken as well as Aiken homeschoolers. This year Aiken County will send at least two students to the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee, as the Aiken County Public School champion will also advance to the Regional. In previous years, public, private and homeschoolers in Aiken County competed together to determine who would advance. The Regional Bee will be held in March in Augusta, and the winner of that bee will advance to the Nationals in Washington, D.C.

Crowder’s victory was her third straight in spelling bees organized by Aiken Area Home Educators (AAHE). However, as an eighth grader, it is her last year to compete in spelling bees associated with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Nathan McFall, a sixth-grader, finished second in the AAHE Bee for the second year in a row. AAHE also held a spelling bee for second- through fourth-graders, and Rhett Tuemler was this year’s winner of that contest. Linda Anderson, the coordinator of the AAHE spelling bee was very excited about the contest and the hard work of the students who prepared for it.