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North Idaho 8th-grader wins fourth regional spelling bee, will represent region in national competition

UPDATED: Sat., Feb. 29, 2020

Joseph Moran, an eighth-grade student from Hayden, spells out a word  during the practice round Saturday at the 17th annual North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee at North Idaho College Saturday. This was the fourth year in a row that Moran won the championship. (North Idaho College)
Joseph Moran, an eighth-grade student from Hayden, spells out a word during the practice round Saturday at the 17th annual North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee at North Idaho College Saturday. This was the fourth year in a row that Moran won the championship. (North Idaho College)
From staff reports

An eighth-grader from Hayden, Idaho, won the regional spelling bee at North Idaho College for the fourth year in a row Saturday and will represent North Idaho in the 2020 Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.

Joseph Moran, a Christian homeschool student, edged out runner-up and fellow eighth-grader Sarah Fleshman, of Canfield Middle School, for the top spot out of 38 competitors, according to a news release.

The spelling bee went on for 58 rounds before Fleshman made a mistake spelling “pasilla,” after correctly spelling “plenipotentiary.” The winning word for Moran was “attaché.”

“Joseph Moran’s historic, fourth-time North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee win was not an easy one. Sarah Fleshman kept up with Joseph round after round,” Maureen Dolan, community relations coordinator at NIC and the coordinator of this year’s spelling bee, said in a statement.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be held at the end of May in the Washington, D.C., area.

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