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Orange County's Top Speller Leaving For Washington D.C.
Updated May 22, 2015 7:37 AM | Filed under: Education
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Pictured are, from left to right, Thomas Lamb of Old National Bank, Jamie Shinabarger of Springs Valley Bank & Trust Company, Ross, Miles Flynn of Orange County Publishing and Imojean Dedrick of Orange County Community Foundation. (Photo by Tim Thone)

(ORLEANS) - Orleans eighth grader Matthew Ross will arrive in Washington, D.C. on Sunday to represent Orange County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee after earning the trip in the Orange County Publishing Company's Great Spelling Bee back in March.

Ross is taking the role quite seriously and has been studying as much as he can.

The preliminaries test for the 279 spellers (Ross is speller 81) will be Wednesday, May 27, from 8 a.m - 4:45 p.m. streaming live on ESPN3.

Semifinals follow Thursday, May 28, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. live on ESPN2.

The championship finals are set for Thursday, May 28, from 8-10 p.m. live on ESPN.

In addition to the bee, a Memorial Day barbecue for spellers and the awards banquet May 29, Ross will also have some time during the trip to sightsee. He said he and his family are attempting to arrange a visit to the White House and also hope to take in the Smithsonian.

Ross expresses his sincere thanks to the Orange County Publishing Company and its funding partners, the Orange County Community Foundation Education Fund, Old National Bank and Springs Valley Bank & Trust Company, for making the local spelling bee and his journey to the nation's capital possible. Also helping him plan his trip was Erin Elliott of Mad Hatter Adventures in Paoli.

"This trip to D.C. will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me," he commented. "I hope that many Orange County students are able to enjoy this opportunity in the future!"

Miles Flynn, Orange County Publishing Company Managing Editor, said he's eager to watch Ross' progress and feels confident he will do a fine job of representing Orange County.

Flynn added, "Looking ahead, we're also excited to announce we already have pledges of support for 2016 from the Orange County Community Foundation, Old National Bank, Springs Valley Bank & Trust Company and Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation. With that help, we're getting pretty close to making the Orange County Publishing Company's Great Spelling Bee an annual event."

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