5 Minnesotans head to national spelling bee

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Five students from Edina, Brainerd, Slayton, Austin and the Fairmont School District will represent Minnesota in the national spelling bee in May, the Star Tribune reports.

Twelve-year-old Mark Kivimaki from Valley View Middle School in Edina won his spot by correctly spelling “thorium” and “serenity,” emerging victorious in the 7-County Metro Area Regional Spelling Bee held Saturday at Augsburg College. He was the top speller in a crowd of 50 from 50 schools at the event.

The other four headed to Washington, D.C. this May for the Scripps National Spelling Bee: Brainerd eighth-grader Lauren Crabtree of Forestview Middle School; eighth-grader Shane DeSilva, from Pacelli Catholic Schools in Austin; eighth-grader Kellen Rodriguez in the Fairmont School District; and seventh-grader Alyssa Boynton, from Murray County Central in Slayton.

Minnesota has only had one winner in the bee since 1925: then-13-year-old Sean Conley, of Anoka, Minnesota, in 2001.

Last year, the victor was New Yorker Arvind Mahankali, who correctly spelled knaidel. The last Minnesotan standing last year was Emma Greenlee, 14, an eighth-grader at Mesabi East High School, in Aurora, who went out after misspelling “sarrusophone.”

Here's a list of past winners.

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