Martha’s Vineyard Student Spells First Word Correctly At National Spelling Bee

WASHINGTON – A Martha’s Vineyard 5th grader had a successful first day at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

11-year-old Jasper Ralph of Aquinnah correctly spelled the word faiblesse, a French term for weakness.

Ralph needs to answer a word correctly Wednesday to open up a potential trip to the finals Thursday.

Participants need to spell two words correctly onstage to qualify for the finals, a field of 50 that is then determined by the best scores from a written test.

Ralph, a student at the West Tisbury School, won the Martha’s Vineyard Schools spelling bee in March, punching a ticket to the national tournament. The winning word was “fatigue.”

Ralph was one of 519 initial participants at the tournament and was one of 7 students from Massachusetts.

According to the Scripps National Spelling Bee website, Ralph’s favorite book is Charlotte’s Web.

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