HONOLULU (KHON2) — Emma Maldarelli is 12 years old, loves to read Rick Riordan novels and Greek mythology, enjoys basketball and loves playing with her dogs. While her favorite subject is math, she’s also great at spelling.

The 7th grade student at La Pietra represented Hawaii on the national stage when she competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee’s preliminary rounds on Tuesday, May 31, in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

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This year’s competition includes 234 spellers from across the country and around the globe who advanced through regional bees. Spellers will compete in four segments for a chance to be crowned the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

The champion leaves with the following prizes:

From the Scripps National Spelling Bee

  • a $50,000 cash prize
  • a commemorative medal
  • the Scripps Cup, the official championship trophy of the Scripps National Spelling Bee

From Merriam-Webster

  • a $2,500 cash prize and reference library

From Encyclopædia Britannica

  • $400 of reference works, including a 1768 Encyclopædia Britannica © Replica Set and a three-year membership to Britannica Online © Premium

On Tuesday, Maldarelli spelled the word “kobold” incorrectly, so she will not be advancing in the competition. The competition is being livestreamed here, and the final day is on Thursday, June 2.

Check out more news from around Hawaii

The National Spelling Bee started in 1925 when nine newspapers came together to host a spelling bee. Today, their literacy effort reaches 11 million students each year.