Twelve Aiken County public school students will compete in Aiken County's annual Spelling Bee at the URS Center for the Performing Arts on Monday at 7 p.m.

The Scripps company coordinates the event that culminates with a national competition in Washington, D.C.

The Aiken sponsors are the Aiken County School District, the Aiken Standard and URS/Savannah River Remediation.

Six area groups in Aiken County held the semi-finals last month – with the first- and second-place finishers qualifying for the county Bee.

Those students are listed below, with the top winner list first.

• Group 1 – Skylar Kernaghan, Leavelle McCampbell Middle School; Nicholas Lintner, Byrd Elementary School

• Group 2 – Stephen Havasy, North Augusta Middle School; Makena Griffis, Hammond Hill Elementary School

• Group 3 – Robin Jordan and Ashlynn Stringfield, Clearwater Elementary School

• Group 4 – Zachary Chaney, Aiken Middle School; Gracie Holsenback, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary-Middle School

• Group 5 – Iyceiss Drayton, Jackson Middle School; David Crutchfield, New Ellenton Middle School

• Group 6 – Elizabeth Diaz, Kennedy Middle School; Kayla Gallop, Busbee-Corbett Elementary-Middle School

Six other students finished third and will serve as alternates. They are listed in order of group: Sean Hart, Warrenville Elementary School; Colin Donaldson, Belvedere Elementary School; Trent Peterson, Gloverville Elementary School; Jamari Simmons, J.D. Lever Elementary School; Brady Kidwell, Chukker Creek Elementary School; and Kirsten Cauley, Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School.

School District staff member Charlie Tyler, the Bee coordinator, will serve as the word pronouncer.

The contest primarily requires each student to spell a word aloud, and a student is disqualified if a letter is missed while spelling the word.

Scripps provides words at each contest level.

Tyler said the words at the area event seem more difficult than in the past.

“Scripps is the sponsor, and they sent me the words,” he said.

All the students will receive certificates from Books-A-Million, with the winner receiving an iPad.

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.