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Local eighth-grader heads to national spelling bee

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A local eighth-grader is heading to the Scripps National Spelling Bee next week.

After winning her school contest, Sarah Lilley, who attends Immanuel Lutheran School in Roswell, also competed in a regional bee in El Paso, Texas, and will advance to the the national bee in Washington, D.C.

The event will occur Monday through June 1, with students able to attend ceremonies, guest speeches and other activities. Preliminary competition will occur Tuesday and Wednesday, with finals scheduled for Thursday. TV coverage will occur on the ESPN network. Students advancing beyond the fourth round can receive cash and other prizes.

Lilley, the daughter of Thomas and Cathy Lilley, will be one of five participants from New Mexico and among 519 student competitors from the United States and foreign countries.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee was first held in 1925 and has been held every year since except for the World War II years of 1943 to 1945.

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