Western Springs student in finals of National Spelling Bee

Written By By Jane Michaels Sun-Times Media Posted: 05/29/2014, 07:36am

You could say Alia Abiad’s experience at the Scripps National Spelling Bee is coming together in a concinnate whole.

After correctly spelling “concinnate” — to place fitly together — and misère — a type of bid in solo whist in Thursday morning’s semifinals, the Western Springs eighth-grader advanced as one of 12 competitors in Thursday night’s televised finals.

Although 31 spellers maintained a perfect record through the semifinal round, the 12 finalists were selected based additionally on their scores of the computerized test gauging their vocabulary skills. The test was introduced in the 2013 competition.

“We are over the moon at McClure!” said an exuberant Principal Dan Chick. “The entire building erupted when she was announced as a finalist. We couldn’t be more proud.”

Chick said McClure fans have been watching Alia’s progress every step of the way. Updates have been provided through Assistant Principal Rachel Corrough, who is at the competition with Alia’s parents, Lorriane and Homer Abiad.

“The most impressive quality of this brilliant young lady is that she is one of the most humble, respectful and caring people you will ever meet,” Chick said

Alia advanced from a field of 45 semifinalists, who were drawn from an original 281 competitors from across the nation and several foreign countries. She is now the sole Illinois competitor remaining.

This is Alia’s second trip to the national competition after tying for 19th place a year ago in the semifinal round. Like last year, she represents suburban Cook County and maintained a perfect record in several rounds of competition to claim the title.

The finals will be shown at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The action also can be followed on Twitter using @ScrippsBee and Alia is #speller58.

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