McCallie eighth-grader Connor Parks is heading to Washington, D.C., after winning the Tennessee Regional Spelling Bee to qualify for the national competition.
After winning the McCallie spelling bee, and finishing second in the zone spelling bee, Connor was among 87 competitors for the Region Spelling Bee, which was held at UTC.
Connor survived round after round of spelling and bested tough competition to emerge as the 2019 champion.
In the end, Connor claimed the championship after six greuling one-on-one rounds with defending champion John Courtney of Heritage Middle School, prevailing by correctly spelling the words “futile” and "executrix" to win the championship and a trip to the national spelling bee.
Connor finished ahead of runner up John and third-place finisher Anirudhha Harsha of the Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences to earn the title of top speller in the region.
As champion, Connor will move on to represent the Chattanooga area at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., from Sunday, May 26, to Friday, May 31. Connor wins $600 and a six-night stay in Washington for the national spelling bee for his victory in the Regional Spelling Bee.