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Brown County eighth-grader Mary Skirvin in Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals this afternoon
Updated on: 05.30.13

Mary Skirvin, a Brown County eighth-grader, has qualified to compete in the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals taking place this afternoon in Washington, D.C. The event will air from 2-5 p.m. on ESPN2.

Skirvin -- identified as speller no. 74 on the bee's Web site -- is one of 42 youngsters who made it through qualifying rounds in D.C. Wednesday.

The 281 contestants who made it to the national level completed a written test with vocabulary and spelling questions, then participated in two spelling rounds. Any misspelling in those two rounds resulted in immediate disqualification this year.

Skirvin correctly spelled “synchronous” and “telencephalon,” and her score on the written test qualified her for the semifinals, explained Mary’s mother, Dana, who is with her in D.C.

Skirvin earned her trip to the national event in February by winning the regional competition at Indiana University. She won the school-level contest at Brown County Junior High School before that.

“Mary’s just driven. She’s self-motivated, and this is something she really immersed herself in and was passionate about,” said Brad Baughman, who co-coaches Brown County Junior High School’s Spell Bowl Team with Kevin Roush.

To prepare for the bee, Skirvin has been hauling the official, 10.6-pound competition dictionary with her, her mother said. They also studied at home, working out a white board system with differently colored inks to help Skirvin remember words she’d spelled correctly, and those she needed to work on.

As a reward for reaching goals in her studies, Skirvin and her mom would watch episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in French.

Semifinalists took a second written qualifying test yesterday, and the scores on that, with this afternoon’s spelling rounds, will determine who moves on to tonight’s finals, set to air at 8 p.m. Though the number of students who move on can vary, it will be around 12.

-- Megan O'Bryan, Brown County Democrat

2:49 p.m. UPDATE: Skirvin was eliminated from the bee on the word "laureation," transposing the "i" and the "t."

This was her first time at the national bee.

Obituaries
See Full List »

Thomas Heacox, 80, Greenwood
  Stepfather of Dewayne Clark and Michael Clark of Trafalgar

Bruce Van Winkle, 71, Morgantown
  Husband of Jeanette (Everts) Van Winkle

William 'Dale' Mathis, 93, Nashville
  Husband of Hilda "Betty" (Bond) Mathis of Nashville

  • August 20
    Brown County Commissioners
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    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
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  • August 21
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
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    Brown County Council budget hearings
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  • August 22
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  • August 22
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    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • August 22
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  • August 22
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    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 22
    'Planes: Fire & Rescue' movie at the Playhouse
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  • August 23
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    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • August 23
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    9:30 p.m. Out of the Ordinary, 61 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 23
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  • August 23
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 23
    Live music at Big Woods Pizza Co.
    8 to 10 p.m. Big Woods Pizza Co., 44 N. Van Buren St.
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    'Planes: Fire & Rescue' movie at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren
  • August 26
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • August 26
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    1 to 4 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
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    BC Area Plan Commission
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  • August 27
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
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  • August 27
    BC Parks & Rec. Board
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    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
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  • August 28
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 28
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • August 28
    Salt Creek Trail Committee
    10 a.m. BC Parks & Rec. Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • August 29
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • August 29
    Bean Blossom farmers market Friday
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • August 29
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 30
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • August 30
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • August 30
    Wagler Dairy hosts fifth annual ice cream social
    4:30 to 8 p.m. Wagler Dairy, 7085 Homestead Road
  • August 30
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 30
    CSLOA and firemen host ox roast
    11 a.m. to 7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • September 2
    Magic club
    5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 2
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 3
    Hamblen Fire Protection District
    7 p.m. Hamblen Fire Station, 4650 Sweetwater Trail, Nineveh
  • September 3
    Woodworkers club
    7 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 4
    Gospel jam session
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • September 4
    WRAPS meetings
    7 to 9 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 5
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 5
    Bean Blossom farmers market Friday
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, State roads 135 North and 45, Bean Blossom
  • September 6
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 6
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • September 13
    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
    5 to 8 p.m. Downtown Nashville
  • September 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • September 18
    WRAPS meetings
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    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
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    Second Saturday Village Art Walk
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