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Ananya Joshi, a 6th grader at Roscoe Middle School, has been crowned the winner of the 40th Boone-Winnebago Regional Spelling Bee! Spelling the word "ensued" to seal the deal, Ananya accepted the 1st place trophy, which stood almost as tall as she is. Second place went to 7th grader Julia Kurien from Thurgood Marshall, while Aaron Austin from Harlem Middle School secured the third place plaque and prizes.
Miss Joshi is already a veteran competitor, having competed at the regional level in 2023 as a fifth grader. She shared that she trains many hours a day, but also has experience as a fan as her sister Avani placed 7th at the National Bee several years ago. Ananya was well-prepared with a consistent walk-up style, questioning mode, and a finger-writing practice that seemed to help her visualize her words.
Second place finisher, Julia Kurien, displayed composure beyond the average 7th grade student while competing on stage in front of approximately 100 audience members. In fact, we thought she was actually an 8th grader right up until event time. She was poised and well-practiced and seemed to draw a few of the more difficult words. We are rooting for Julia to try again at her school's 2025 Bee in hopes of landing under the lights at the regional competition for another go-around.
Aaron Austin was a confident speller with a broad smile and fun sense of humor, briefly bantering with the pronouncer several times throughout the evening. Undaunted by the large crowd and bright lights, Aaron took home the third place plaque as well as a $100 gift card at the close of the event. His bold voice and amiable disposition are sure to carry him far in his high school journey and in future competitions.

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The Boone-Winnebago Regional Office of Education hosted the 2024 Regional Spelling Bee on March 6, 2024, in the Harlem High School Auditorium. Mike Garrigan, Evening Anchor for Channel 23 WIFR TV in Rockford once again volunteered his time to act as pronouncer for the exciting event. Twenty-six school winners took the stage at 6:00 p.m., competing for a chance at the Regional Championsip and the opportunity to test their skills at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington D.C. area in late spring. Approximately 100 family, friends, educators, administrators, spelling coaches, and community members filled a good portion of the auditorium to lend support to these 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
Bee prepared for Ananya's showing at the national bee by following us on X at BWROE4 and Facebook at bwroe4 - we'll have all the latest details on when and where you can watch her compete. Hive Five, Bee Fans! 
The Regional Spelling Bee is generously sponsored by the Eunice Wishop Stromberg Spelling Bee Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.
Visit www.spellingbee.com for current information and details about the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Please contact event coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you have additional questions.
Good luck, Ananya!
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