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Spelling Bee competitor

Thomas Hunter Middle School eighth grader Corey Zheng, 13, came in fourth place in the regional competition for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, sponsored by WHRO Public Media and held on Feb. 10 in Norfolk. There were 55 students from different schools in the Hampton Roads region competing in the all-day contest. Zheng said the words started out easy but got harder, and after seven rounds, only four students were left standing. Zheng then incorrectly spelled the word “flagellum” with one “l” instead of two, ending his bid for the championship. Nearly 2,000 words were provided for students to study for the spelling bee, said Zheng. His sister, Suki, was his study partner and his English teacher Leslie Hudgins was his sponsor. Rohith Konduri of Norfolk Academy won the competition with the word “anathema.” This was the second and last regional spelling bee for Zheng; he will not be eligible next year because of his age. Corey said he had a good experience and that he would encourage o...

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