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‘Wow, this is pretty cool': Olathe middle schooler heads to Scripps National Spelling Bee

Emory Jobe
Posted at 9:15 AM, May 27, 2024

OLATHE, Kan. — Emory Jobe, an eighth-grader at Mission Trail Middle School in Olathe, is headed to the Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 28.

Manu Sripathi, of Olathe's California Trail Middle School, represented the school district in 2023 and made it to the semi-finals.

Two other Kansas City-area students went to the spelling bee with him.

This year, Jobe is headed there to represent the Kansas City area on her own.

"At first I did not accept it. I was just like, ‘I won district,’ I didn’t know what to think of it," she said. "As I’ve gotten closer, it’s kind of settled and I’m a little in awe that I’ve made it here."

From her school spelling bee, to district and now to nationals, Jobe's spelling bee journey goes way back for the eighth grader.

“In third grade my teacher was like, ‘You’re good at spelling, you should do a spelling bee,'" Jobe said. "So I did it, I’ve been doing it since third grade and I finally got my time in eighth grade."

Like every student in her generation, Jobe experienced a hiccup.

“I didn’t do it in fifth grade cause that was virtual for COVID," she said.

But no hurdles limit Emory; she excels both in school and outside of school.

“I play basketball, I played for my school in seventh and eighth grade; we were undefeated, won city both years," she said. "I play soccer and I run track."

Jobe is a bright, rising star, just like her favorite word to spell.

“My favorite word to spell… this will sound funny, but there was this word I was going through the first day, ‘achernar,’ and I made up a funny little song to it that I am not going to sing," she said.

She continued, “I just know it’s the brightest star in the constellation Eridanus, that’s all I know about it."

To represent Kansas on the national stage, Jobe said she'll practice kindness, and maybe sport some Chiefs gear while at it.