Mark Kivimaki, 12, of Valley View Middle School in Edina, was named champion of the 7-County Metro Area Regional Spelling Bee held March 15 at Hoversten Chapel at Augsburg College. He correctly spelled “thorium” and “serenity” to win the spelling bee. He is the son of Mary and Bruce Kivimaki.
Abraham Teuber, 13, of South St. Paul High School, won second place. He was eliminated during round 15 for misspelling “chaldron.” Teuber is the son of Becca and Tim Teuber.
Julia Du, 13, of Math and Science Academy in Woodbury, won third place. She was eliminated after incorrectly spelling “embayment” during the 14th round. She is the daughter of Xuemei Tang and Haiwei Du.
A total of 50 students from 50 schools competed in the spelling bee. Spellers were from elementary, middle and junior high schools, community and magnet schools, private and home schools.
The winner will be sent by Augsburg College with a parent or guardian to the Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled May 25-31 in Washington, D.C.
The head judge of the competition was Dennis Bluhm. He has served for 45 years as an elementary school principal and teacher, and 11 years as head judge of the State Spelling Bee. The pronouncer was David Talarico.
Augsburg College is set in a vibrant neighborhood at the heart of the Twin Cities, and offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to more than 4,000 students of diverse backgrounds. Augsburg College educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. The Augsburg experience is supported by an engaged community that is committed to intentional diversity in its life and work. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings.