Four St. Louis area kids make it to National Spelling Bee

From left to right: Alecia McCulley, Alice Liu, Ryan Smith, and Joshua Roodhouse Hale.

WASHINGTON D.C. – A Chesterfield girl who made it to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee last year is back in Washington D.C. for a shot at glory.

Crestview Middle School’s Alice Liu got tripped up by the word “galanas” last year but is back in the field for this year’s spelling bee, which starts Monday morning.

There is a record number of competitors in this year’s event—516 kids—with four from the St. Louis area. Joining Liu in our nation’s capital are Alecia McCulley from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School in Ferguson, Ryan Smith from MICDS, and Joshua Roodhouse Hale from Dubray Middle School in St. Peters.

The preliminary rounds of the spelling bee are Tuesday and Wednesday, with the finals slated to take place Thursday evening.

The championship will receive a $40,000 cash prize and an engraved trophy from Scripps, a $2,500 cash prize and complete reference library courtesy of Merriam-Webster, talk show appearances, and more.