"Pizza's as Italian as I get," confesses Marjory Lavery, home school student, Ohio native, and runner-up in the National Spelling Bee. "Cappelletti," the name of an Italian pasta, downed Marjory in the final round.
Marjory carried away a cash prize, a commemorative watch, a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, and the admiration of her fellow home schooled students.
Nine home schoolers held their own in this year's Bee, joining a total of 247 students who spelled their way through eleven grueling rounds. E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T!
Brendan Gordon of Moscow, Idaho, one of two home schoolers in the National Geography Bee, placed third in the two-day competition. "It was really fun, but I was kind of nervous with all the cameras around," Brendan says. "People [at the Bee] thought it was neat that home schoolers were participating. Home schoolers are becoming more numerous in the national bees every year."
Taught by his father, Brendan enjoys studying piano and viola and playing soccer. He will go on to the International Geography Olympiad this year, representing America with three other teammates. Brendan took home a $10,000 college scholarship. "After the Olympiad, my bee days are over," he declares, ready to tackle high school at home and any new challenges that might come along.