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Reston Student to Compete in National Spelling Bee

Jae Canetti, 12, of Reston will compete in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Photo courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee
Jae Canetti, 12, of Reston will compete in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Photo courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee
Northern Virginia has a contender in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee this year.

His name is Jae Canetti, 12, a sixth-grader at Hunter Woods Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences in Reston. He'll compete May 28-29 at the bee, which takes place at National Harbor in Maryland, just across the Potomac from Alexandria.

Jae is no stranger to the spelling bee. He was its youngest contestant in 2012.

Jae won the Fairfax County spelling bee in March for the third straight year, according to The Fairfax Times. 

Here's more about Jae, aka Speller #262, from his official biography released by Scripps:

"Jae is an enormous baseball fan. He plays Little League, and he and his father travel around the country to see minor league baseball games. They have been to 11 games so far, as well as to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. During his travels, he also collects baseball hats and currently has more than 70. Interestingly, the word sabermetrics — the statistical study of baseball — was one of his words in two of his last five county spelling bees. In addition to baseball, Jae is dedicated to his academics; he is a Davidson Institute Young Scholar and recently received high honors at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. Jae previously competed in the 2012 and 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bees, tying for 22nd place in 2012."

Virginia has seen two students win the whole shebang: In 1984, Daniel Greenblatt of Leesburg won with the word "luge." In 1992, Amanda Goad of Richmond won the contest with the word "lyceum." You can find a list of all of the champions and their winning words here. This year, Virginia is sending 14 students in all to the spelling bee. In addition to Jae, there is also a student from Ashburn and another from Fredericksburg competing from the Northern Virginia area.

Here's what the champion will take home this year:
  • From Scripps, a $30,000 cash prize and the Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved trophy

  • From Merriam-Webster, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and a complete reference library

  • From Encyclopædia Britannica, $1,200 of reference works including the Britannica Global Edition, 1768 Encyclopædia Britannica Replica Set Deluxe Edition, 3-year membership to Britannica Online Premium and Britannica World Atlas


The spelling bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.

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