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Meet the First Coast Spelling Bee participants

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The top spellers from each school district in Northeast Florida will compete in the First Coast Spelling Bee on Friday, March 9.  The bee, held at the Florida Theater, will be televised on Channel 4, The Local Station, and streamed on News4Jax.com.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Where are this year's top spellers in Northeast Florida?

The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent the First Coast at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The 2018 Spelling Bee finalists

ALACHUA COUNTY: 
   Sydney MillerGracie Peprah-Asante
BAKER COUNTY: 
   Dakota Conaway-Ellis
CLAY COUNTY: 
   Josiah Ilagan | Erik Williams
COLUMBIA COUNTY: 
   Ava AllenRosalie Speer
DUVAL COUNTY: 
   Catherine NicholsSaachi Sharma
FLAGLER COUNTY: 
   Keelin Vera Cowart-GoldbergAlisha Jageswar
HAMILTON COUNTY: 
   Gracie Tabor
| Charles Wall II
MADISON COUNTY: 
   Erin Burnett | Riley Browning
NASSAU COUNTY: 
   Teddy Gurt | Ella Weepie
PUTNAM COUNTY:
   Jayden Wicker
ST. JOHNS COUNTY: 
   Carly MillerJackson Willis
SUWANNEE COUNTY:
   Isabella BaldwinTaylar Smith
UNION COUNTY: 
   Aidan Newsom

Tap on the name above or scroll through the list below to read about the students who will compete:

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Ava Allen

County: Columbia
School: Fort White High School
Grade: 8th
Age: 14
Hobbies: Chorus and Yearbook

 

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Isabella Baldwin

County: Suwanee

School: Melody Christian Academy
Grade: 8th
Age: 12
Hobbies: Cheerleading

 

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Riley Browning

County: Madison
School: Madison Creative Arts Academy
Grade: 7th
Age: 12
Hobbies: Drama Club, Theater and Reading

 

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Erin Burnett

County: Madison

School: Madison Creative Arts Academy
Grade: 5th
Age: 10
Hobbies: Softball, Reading and Drawing

 

 

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Dakota Conaway-Ellis

County: Baker

School: Baker County Middle School
Grade: 6th
Age: 12
Hobbies: Computer gaming and Blogging

 

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Keelin Vera Cowart-Goldberg

County: Flagler

School: Buddy Taylor Middle
Grade: 8th
Age: 14
Hobbies: Drawing

 

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Teddy Gurt

County: Nassau

School: Yulee Middle School
Grade: 6th
Age: 11
Hobbies: Yulee Middle School Morning News and Karate

 

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Josiah Ilagan

County: Clay

School: Lakeside Junior High
Grade: 8th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Plays Trombone and Drums

 

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Alisha Jageswar

County: Flagler

School: Buddy Taylor Middle School
Grade: 7th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Reading, drawing and listening to music

 

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Carly Miller

County: St. Johns

School: Switzerland Point Middle School
Grade: 8th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Soccer and Basketball

 

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Sydney Miller

County: Alachua

School: Oak Hall School
Grade: 7th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Cross Country, Basketball, Track, Band, FCA and Latin

 

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Aidan Newsom

County: Union

School: Lake Butler Middle School
Grade: 8th
Age: 14
Hobbies: Football, Basketball, FFA Teams, Boating and Hunting
 

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Catherine Nichols

County: Duval

School: St. Mark's Episcopal
Grade: 6th
Age: 12
Hobbies: Flute, Cello, Bass Guitar and Volleyball

 

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Gracie Peprah-Asante

County: Alachua

School: Joseph Williams Elementary School
Grade: 5th
Age: 10
Hobbies: Math Club and Drawing

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Saachi Sharma

County: Duval

School: Darnell Cookman School of Medical Arts
Grade: 8th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Reading and Swimming
 

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Taylar Smith

County: Suwannee

School: Branford High School
Grade: 7th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Drawing and learning how to code
 

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Rosalie Speer

County: Columbia

School: Fort White Elementary
Grade: 5th
Age: 10
Hobbies: Archery

 

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Gracie Tabor

County: Hamilton

School: Hamilton Country Day
Grade: 6th
Age: 11
Hobbies: Drama Club and Dance

 

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Kyle VanDoren

County: Bradford
School: Lawtey Elementary
Grade: 5th
Age: 11
Hobbies: Reading and Playing Video Games

 

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Charles Wall II

County: Hamilton

School: Hamilton Elementary
Grade: 5th
Age: 10
Hobbies: Basketball

 

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Ella Weepie

County: Nassau

School: Fernandina Beach Middle School
Grade: 8th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Volleyball, Theater and Drama

 

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Jayden Wicker

County: Putnam

School: Q.I. Roberts Junior-Senior High
Grade: 7th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Basketball, Swimming and Running

 

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Erik Williams

County: Clay

School: St. Johns Country Day
Grade: 5th
Age: 10
Hobbies: Baseball, Basketball, Chess Club, Mathcounts and Clarinet

 

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Jackson Willis

County: St. Johns

School: Liberty Pines Academy
Grade: 8th
Age: 13
Hobbies: Tennis and Cross Country