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Nina Johansen searches her memory for the spelling of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
Nina Johansen searches her memory for the spelling of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Nina Johansen searches her memory for the spelling of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
Nina Johansen searches her memory for the spelling of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Naples Middle School's Ryan Rayos, center, anxiously listens to a competitor spell a word that could win Rayos the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Rayos went on to win in the 19th round.
Naples Middle School's Ryan Rayos, center, anxiously listens to a competitor spell a word that could win Rayos the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Rayos went on to win in the 19th round. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Ryan Rayos reacts after winning the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee in the 19th round by correctly spelling "Devonian" at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Rayos also won in 2015 and will go on to Washington to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Ryan Rayos reacts after winning the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee in the 19th round by correctly spelling "Devonian" at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Rayos also won in 2015 and will go on to Washington to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Robert Rasmussen, from Gafenwoehr Elementary School, spells a word for judges during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
Robert Rasmussen, from Gafenwoehr Elementary School, spells a word for judges during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Ramstein Middle School's Ramon Padua Jr. spells a word on his hand during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
Ramstein Middle School's Ramon Padua Jr. spells a word on his hand during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Spectators listen to elementary and middle school students introduce themselves during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
Spectators listen to elementary and middle school students introduce themselves during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Chinonso Onyenwe, from David Glasgow Farragut Elementary School, spells a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Onyenwe was the lone second-grader out of 31 elementary and middle school students competing in the bee.
Chinonso Onyenwe, from David Glasgow Farragut Elementary School, spells a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Onyenwe was the lone second-grader out of 31 elementary and middle school students competing in the bee. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
A judge keeps track of a student's spelling of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
A judge keeps track of a student's spelling of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Moderator Sharon Emerling, right, a teacher at Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School, discusses the pronunciation of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Elementary and middle school students from 31 different schools competed in the bee.
Moderator Sharon Emerling, right, a teacher at Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School, discusses the pronunciation of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Elementary and middle school students from 31 different schools competed in the bee. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Nina Johansen, a home-schooled student, smiles after spelling a word correctly during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
Nina Johansen, a home-schooled student, smiles after spelling a word correctly during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)
Nyla Pearson, a student from Robinson Barracks Elementary School, takes a moment to think about the spelling of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
Nyla Pearson, a student from Robinson Barracks Elementary School, takes a moment to think about the spelling of a word during the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Michael B. Keller/Stars and Stripes)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Elementary and middle school students from Department of Defense Education Activity Schools participated in the 35th annual European PTA Spelling Bee on Saturday.

Thirty-one students, all from different schools across Europe, met at Ramstein Elementary School in Germany to test their spelling skills against each other. They vied for a shot to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington in May. The bee was open to third- through eighth-graders and one motivated second-grader.

After 19 rounds in nearly three hours, Ryan Rayos, of Naples Middle School, earned his second European PTA Spelling Bee win by correctly spelling “Devonian.” Rayos will travel to Washington in May to represent DODEA at the national spelling bee. His first win was in 2015.

Ella Scheurermann, from Netzaberg Middle School and last year’s winner, took second place. Spangdhalem Middle School’s Zoe Ayala and Patch Middle School’s Joshua Eddy shared third place.

keller.michael@stripes.com

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