The morning after Finals, spellers had the opportunity to explore D.C. Thanks to Congressman John Yarmuth, my family received a visitor’s pass to the White House! I enjoyed walking through the rooms of the White House and especially seeing the portraits of former Presidents and First Ladies. We were also treated to a personalized tour of the Capitol Building by Walker Robinson of Congressman Yarmuth’s office. He was a fabulous guide and we all learned so much from him. It was particularly interesting to learn that each State has donated two statues of notable people from their history. Kentucky’s statues are of Henry Clay and Ephraim McDowell. Visiting the White House was a highlight of my trip to D.C. and I want to thank Congressman Yarmuth and his staff for making this possible.
In the evening, we attended a fancy Awards Banquet at which we honored the top ten finalists. Afterwards, we all went to the Woodrow Wilson Ballroom for a dance party; this was my favorite event of the week.
Participating in the National Spelling Bee for the third time was an amazing experience. Becoming a national finalist was the proudest moment of my life. I tied for 22nd place, which is my highest rank ever. I made new friends and rekindled old bonds. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many people who share my love of words. Thanks so much to WHAS-TV for sponsoring the Regional Bee in Louisville; it was an honor to represent Kentucky at the National Bee.
Congratulations to all the spellers who participated in the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee; you’re all winners!