School News

Area Middle Schooler Headed to National Spelling Bee

In recent years, Alabama has been known for back-to-back championship wins thanks to Nick Saban. Now, one Mountain Gap sixth grader is continuing that tradition after she landed her own kind of repeating wins. Erin Howard will be representing the state in the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the second year in a row.

After five hours of spelling, Erin won the final round of the state spelling bee after spelling “Sikhism,” according to She will head to Washington D.C. this week to compete in the national competition. 

In 2016, Erin tied for 22nd place in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, moving her on to the finals before she was eliminated.

Close to 300 children and teenagers will be heading to the nation’s capital for the national competition. This year will be the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee, with winning words growing more complex over the years. In 1936 the winning word was “interning” while the winning word in 2014 was “scherenschnitte,” according to the National Spelling Bee website. 

The last winner from Alabama was Julie Junkin from Birmingham in 1974. Her winning word was hydrophyte. 

Erin will be speller #36 if you want to catch her on TV. The bee will air on ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPN 3 from May 31 to June 1.

We will be cheering Erin on!

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About the author


Jessie Harbin

Jessie is a newlywed living in Meridianville with her husband and three dogs. She's learning to sail on their 26-foot sailboat in Guntersville. At the time of publication, nobody has fallen ill because of her cooking.

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