That’s how far Crossett School District ninth grader Trinity Foster made it in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee brings together top spellers from all over the world to demonstrate their word prowess. This year, a record 565 spellers were invited to the National Bee, and Foster was among them.
Thanks to the generosity of many local supporters, Trinity and her father, Donald Foster, were able to travel to National Harbor, Md., for a week of spelling and memory making.
The contest began with Round 1 on Monday where all spellers were given the same multiple choice test consisting of vocabulary and spelling words.
Round 2 began on Tuesday morning with students divided into groups and taking turns spelling words on stage, just as in a regular spelling bee.
Those who were not eliminated in Round 2 went on to compete in Round 3.
The spellers not eliminated in Rounds 2 or 3 then had their scores tallied from Round 1, and the top 50 scorers went on to the finals.
Foster survived Rounds 2 and 3, but her Round 1 score was not high enough to make it to the finals.
She took the news like a true champ, saying, “I’m just glad for the opportunity to put my dream into action last week and grow in an environment I wasn’t used to. And I’m eternally grateful for the communities’ support.”
Her was struck by the level of competition exhibited by the students.
“It was very impressive to see that there are children who have the ability to look inside themselves, find what they truly like, and apply their time to the pursuit of their life goals at an early age,” he said.
The spellers ranged in age from 7-15.
“The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a grueling introduction to life’s challenges, and we can be proud of all the participants,” Donald Foster said. “Trinity was eliminated during the final rounds, but she will always get an A+ from her Dad and Mom. Great job, Trinity.”
Trinity attended the spelling bee finals on Thursday night to support her friends, and Friday night found spellers attending an awards banquet andfarewell party where they danced, signed each others autograph books, and posed with new friends.
While in the area, Trinity was able to visit the Air and Space Museum, Howard University, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, and the African American Smithsonian Museum.
She said enjoyed a visit to the U. S. Capitol where she intends to work one day saying, “My favorite thing about visiting DC was going to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office. Ever since she was active in the 2018 primaries, she’s been a huge influence in my life.
Foster said she was excited to meet Jacques Bailly, long time pronouncer for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
“I’ve watched Dr. Bailey call out words for the last six years, so I was very excited to finally meet him in person,” she said.