TALLAHASSEE—On Saturday, spellers from all over Florida’s Big Bend area will compete at the regional spelling bee sponsored by the Foundation for Leon County Schools. WFSU will be broadcasting the competition live beginning at 11 a.m. ET until conclusion.

Jessica McGrew of McGrew Law Firm will serve as pronouncer for the competition. The judges who will track every word and verify spelling accuracy are Laurie Lee, Researcher at the Florida Center for Reading Research; Christic Henry, Managing Broker at Kingdom First Realty, and Catherine Jones, Chief of Staff to Commissioner Nick Maddox.

This year’s Big Bend Spelling Bee logo was inspired by an original design created by Alyssa Ledon, senior at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee.

The winner of Saturday’s bee will advance to compete in the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee held in the Washington, D.C. area and broadcast on ESPN channels May 29-31. In addition to the expenses-paid trip to the national finals for him/her and a parent, the champion also will also win these prizes:

• The Samuel Louis Sugarman Award is a 2019 United States Mint Proof Set provided by Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar Financial, in honor of his father. The champion will receive the prize in June.

• The Britannica Online Premium is a one-year subscription for the premier online resource from Encyclopædia Britannica.

• The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online is a one-year subscription for the official word source for all levels of competition for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

• The Big Bend Regional Spelling Bee Trophy.

“The spelling bee is an iconic competition, and the Foundation for Leon County Schools is proud of its involvement in both the district and regional events this year,” said Nick Maddox, Executive Director. “It’s incredibly rewarding to honor these young people who have dedicated so much time to improving their spelling, increasing their vocabularies, and developing a greater understanding of the English language.”

Participation also provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in public speaking and performing under pressure.