DC, Maryland, Virginia Kids in Running for National Spelling Bee Title

The beloved Scripps National Spelling Bee starts Wednesday and 25 kids from D.C., Maryland and Virginia are competing. 

One girl from D.C., 11 children from Maryland and 13 children from Virginia will showcase their impressive spelling skills.

Margaret Isacson, a seventh-grader from D.C., loves to play soccer, watch TV, listen to music, sing and draw when she’s not busy working on her extensive vocabulary, her online bio says. Her favorite movie is "Hidden Figures" and it’s no surprise that she’s a fan of "Akeelah and the Bee." She’s only 12, but she’s already been on a two-week trip to Spain without her parents. 

Manjeet Nirula, a sixth-grader from Silver Spring, Maryland, loves reading all things Harry Potter. At 12, he’s already developed a knack for traveling. He’s been to India and wants to visit again to get more in touch with his culture, his bio says. Manjeet said he wants to visit Egypt, Nepal and various countries in Europe so he can be a living version of the book "Around the World in 80 Days."

Rishubh Kaushal is only 14 but he’s got quite a big resume. He’s already been the copilot in a Cessna 182 airplane. Rishubh said he enjoys reading, playing chess and solving the Rubik’s Cube. His time to beat is 21 seconds, his bio says. 

Here’s the full list of local competitors:

Washington D.C.


Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

US betting hits record numbers in 2023

Mom says she's leaving rat-infested apartment in Hyattsville

Margaret Isacson, 12, Oyster-Adams Bilingual School, Washington, D.C.


Shaheer Imam, 13, Al-Rahmah School, Catonsville, Maryland

Erin Welch, 14, St. Francis de Sales Catholic School,  Princess Anne, Maryland

Haley Payton, 14, Milton M. Somers Middle School, La Plata, Maryland 

Anna Kleist, 14, Plum Point Middle School, Prince Frederick, Maryland 

Annalee Johnson, 13, Chesapeake Public Charter School, California, Maryland 

Kelly Han, 14, Buck Lodge Middle School, Adelphi, Maryland 

Emma Liu, 14, Urbana Middle School, Frederick, Maryland 

Manjeet Nirula, 12, Briggs Chaney Middle School, Silver Spring, Maryland 

Storrie Kulynych-Irvin, 12, Home School, Annapolis, Maryland 

Saketh Sundar, 11, Mayfield Woods Middle School, Elkridge, Maryland 

Connor Lawrence, 14, Boonsboro Middle School, Keedysville, Maryland 


William “Liam” Myers, 14, Marion Middle School, Chilhowie, Virginia

Nikil Shyamsunder, 12, Powhatan School, Winchester, Virginia

Bethanya Yared, 13, St. William of York Catholic School, Stafford, Virginia

Aditya Chezhiyan, 13, Marsteller Middle School, Bristow, Virginia

Tina Huang, 13, Tazewell Middle School, Tazewell, Virginia

Mary Elizabeth Vaughan, 13, Thomas Harrison Middle School, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Tejas Muthusamy, 14, George H. Moody Middle School, Glen Allen, Virginia

Reshmi Balakrishnan, 11, Greenbriar West Elementary School, Fairfax, Virginia

Riley Hamp, 13, Kate Collins Middle School, Waynesboro, Virginia

Ryan Crawford, 12, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, South Boston, Virginia

Rishubh Kaushal, 14, Loudoun County Public Schools, Sterling, Virginia

Xuan Tran, 14, Queens Lake Middle School, Williamsburg, Virginia

Eujine Kim, 13, P.L. Dunbar Middle School for Innovation, Lynchburg, Virginia

You can watch the two days of spelling bees on ESPN. Go here for full information on where to watch. The finals start at 8 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. 

In addition to being great spellers, the kids are great to watch, too. Here are some favorite video clips: 

Contact Us