Friends and teachers of Lee's Summit eight-grader Jordan Hoffman gathered to watch the National Scripps Spelling Bee Finals.
Classmates organized the watch party through Facebook and met at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the competition on the big screen.
As Hoffman stepped up to the microphone to spell canities, her fans grew nervous.
"I was clinching my hands, my fists really hard because I get nervous for her," seventh grade science teacher Jessica Bobal said.
Scott Meservey has been Hoffman's classmate since Kindergarten and came in second place to Hoffman in previous spelling bees.
"It's really cool she made it that far," Merservey said. "That's not something many kids do."
Merservey's mom, Kristy, has watched Hoffman prepare for years and says she couldn't be more proud.
"It's just so exciting to see her up there and being able to succeed with her goals," Kristy said.
The sense of pride was shared by Ms. Bobal.
"To know this kiddo that I spent time with for a year of her life is going past Jackson County, on to the semi-finals, then to the finals, and the top 9 in the country, it's a pretty impressive feat for her and a pretty cool thing for me to have witnessed," she said.
Hoffman misspelled her first word in the finals and finished as the 9th best speller in the country.