KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City area is sending four spellers to compete in the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. In this 2021 Spelling Bee profile, we spoke with Garrett Li of Olathe.
Four area youth have earned the right to compete, including Garrett Li of California Trail Middle School in Olathe.
Last year's bee was canceled because of the pandemic, and the early rounds of the National Bee will be virtual.
Garrett, who attends California Trail Middle School in Olathe, is like the other local competitors in having participated in their schools bees several times.
"I think I've made quite a bit of progress in spelling," Garrett said in a recent interview with 41 Action News. "Sometimes when I'm reading, I can spot words that I saw on the list and I understand it even better and I think my vocabulary overall is growing."
Another trait Garrett shares with other local spellers is the use of the Scripps Word Club app.
But he's not just in it for himself.
"I still feel pressure to perform well and represent California Trail Middle School at the nationals as well, " he said.
And if he doesn't win this year - there's always next year after all - but his spelling prowess has extended into other areas.
"I do better in tests," Garrett says. :Some words I recognize in tests and can give a better answer."