Lee's Summit eighth-grader Jordan Hoffman is Spelling Bee finalist

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Did you ever wonder what causes white hairs? Lee's Summit eighth grader Jordan Hoffman may not be able to pinpoint the reason for the graying or whitening of follicles, but she can tell you that the name for the condition is canities.

The 14-year-old from Pleasant Lea Middle School outlasted over 265 other spellers to make it to the final round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The three-time Bee veteran, in her first time in the finals, unfortunately went out of the competition on canities.

Hoffman won't have long to dwell over the misspelling, though. She and several friends are currently planning a benefit concert to raise funds for a family member's medical expenses. Jordan is a member of that chorale, along with the eighth grade Black and Gold Honors Choir at school.

Jordan also mentors seventh graders, takes advanced studies coursework and acts in the school Awards Assembly theater program. This past fall, she wrote an a cappella choral composition, which the Lee's Summit Youth Chorale performed throughout the year.

Hoffman made her way to the finals by spelling egress, pharmacology, toxophilite, trophobiosis and heiau.

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