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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester Catholic Schools seventh-grader has earned a spot in the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee.

A news release says Roberto Villasboas was crowned the winner of the Southeast Minnesota Spelling Bee after he correctly spelled the word discomfiture to finish the annual competition today at the Southeast Service Cooperative in Rochester. He was among the 12 students who advanced to the Final Spelling Bee.


Roberto is now set to compete in Washington DC in the 96th annual National Spelling Bee, which begins May 27. The news release says he also was presented with the first-place trophy, the Webster's Third New International Dictionary, a 2024 United States Mint Proof Set, and a one-year subscription to Britannica Online Premium.

The First Runner-Up at the Regional Spelling Bee today was Hunter Hyde, who is an eighth-grade student from Kingsland.

The other competitors in today's Final Spelling Bee were:

  • Austin fifth-grader Logan Merfeld
  • Austin seventh-grader Carter Peterson
  • Bethlehem Academy/Divine Mercy fifth-grader Aram Lebgue
  • Bluffview Montessori seventh-grader Benny Kimber
  • Chatfield eighth-grader Ryan Ottman
  • Hollandale Christian eighth-grader Victoria Rosenberg
  • Plainview-Elgin-Millville sixth-grader Cecelia Smith
  • Rochester Public Schools fifth-grader Emily Allzamora
  • Rochester Public Schools eighth-grader Leen Yassin
  • Schaeffer Academy eighth-grader Laila Koster

The news release indicates the 12 finalists were narrowed down from a list of 57 students from 32 school systems in the region who took part in two preliminary regional spelling bees earlier this month.

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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth