St. John eighth-grader competes in national bee

Alexia Zawadzke, an eighth-grader at St. John Lutheran School in Kendallville, advanced all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in June.

The 14-year-old Alexia spelled “Briton” and “orison” correctly in the preliminary rounds, but was tripped up during a 50-word written test and failed to advance to the final round.

Alexia was one of 273 competitors vying for the top prize of more than $40,000 in cash and prizes at the national bee this year. She advanced to the nationals by correctly spelling “delphinium” to win in the 29th round of the regional spelling bee.

Students, teachers, and members of the community gave Alexia a rousing send-off to the national bee during a pep rally.

Former St. John students make up four of the 13 graduating seniors with perfect GPAs at East Noble High School this year.