Forty-seven American students will compete this month in Stuttgart, Germany, for the right to represent Europe in the annual Scripps Howard Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Last year’s representative, Andrew DeBroeck, and three third-graders are among the hopefuls, all students at Department of Defense Dependents Schools.

Each contestant qualified by winning his or her school’s spelling bee. The Europewide competition will be March 29, beginning at 9 a.m., at the Swabian Special Events Center, Building 2505, on Patch Barracks in Stuttgart.

The winner will advance to the 76th annual Scripps Howard Spelling Bee scheduled for the last week of May.

DeBroeck, who attended Bitburg Middle School in Germany last year, is now an eighth-grader at Lakenheath Middle School in England.

Among his challengers will be a trio of third-graders: Holly Lanier of Würzburg Elementary School; Joseph Marinelli of Patrick Henry Elementary School; and Ashleigh Wiley of Illesheim Elementary School.

The majority of the others are in either the fifth or sixth grades. Participants must be under 16 prior to the national spelling bee.

Competitors will be asked to spell words drawn from the Paideia Book, which includes more than 5,000 words. The field grows smaller with each misspelled word until one speller remains.

Stars and Stripes and the European Congress of American Parents, Teachers and Students annually sponsor the European competition.

Chartered under the National Parent-Teacher Association, the mission of the congress is to support American youth in Europe. It has been involved, for example, in the European bee since the 1981-82 school year.

Anita Armell, who runs the ECAPTS office in Europe, said this year’s pool is slightly larger than last year’s, but well off of what it was two years ago, when 56 pupils participated. A few schools have folded, she explained, but some administrators have opted not to participate due to “the crisis at hand” over Iraq. Schools in Turkey, for example, are sitting out this year.

“The conflict has had a hold on some of the schools,” Armell said, referring to ongoing concerns over security.

The competitors:

Janee Christensen, fourth grade, AFNORTH;

Nicola Reuning, sixth grade, Alconbury Elementary;

Justin Calkins, fifth grade, Ansbach Elementary;

Taylor Northington, fifth grade, Argonner Elementary;

Joshua Williams, fifth grade, Aukamm Elementary;

Ian Ragan, fifth grade, Bad Nauheim Elementary;

Zachery Boynton, fourth grade, Bamberg Elementary;

Barry Donahue, eighth grade, Bamberg Middle/High;

Joshua Blanco, eighth grade, Bamberg Middle/High

Alan Troy Mulder, fifth grade, Böblingen Elementary;

Alex Fraser, seventh grade, Darmstadt Middle;

Brett Johnson, sixth grade, Dexheim Elementary;

Shannon Whitehead, fifth grade, Gaeta Elementary;

Drake Sullivan, eighth grade, Garmisch;

Jessica Pinera, fifth grade, Gelnhausen Elementary;

Chad Battle, sixth grade, Giessen Elementary;

Erik Bidinger, sixth grade, Grafenwöhr Elementary

Ellen Wolcott, eighth grade, Halvorsen-Tunner Elementary/Middle;

Melissa Burd, sixth grade, Heidelberg Middle;

Ashleigh Wiley, third grade, Illesheim Elementary;

John Frank, seventh grade, Kaiserslautern Middle;

Christopher Abstein, fourth grade, Kitzingen Elementary;

Andrew DeBroeck, eighth grade; Lakenheath Middle;

Brittany Feltovic, eighth grade, La Maddalena Elementary/Middle;

Margaret O’Neill, fifth grade, Mannheim Elementary;

Terron Browne; seventh grade, Mannheim Middle;

Anneliese Grant, fifth grade, Mark Twain Elementary;

Jessica Marrazzo, fifth grade; Naples Elementary;

Liam Ackermann, sixth grade, Neubrücke Elementary;

Dawn Anderson, fifth grade, Patch Elementary;

Joseph Marinelli, third grade, Patrick Henry Elementary;

Julia Celtnieks, fifth grade, Rainbow Elementary;

Jonathan Pettit, fifth grade, Ramstein Intermediate;

Jonathan Stroder, seventh grade, Ramstein Middle;

Mark Pacheco, sixth grade, Robinson Barracks Elementary;

Eden Hovenga, sixth grade, Rota Elementary;

Keely Wharton, fifth, Schweinfurt Elementary;

Dominik Holic, sixth grade, SHAPE Elementary;

Mark Rameres, sixth grade, Spangdahlem Middle;

Lekendra Douglas, sixth grade, Vicenza Elementary;

Marie Rosas, eighth grade, Vicenza Middle/High;

Randy McWilliams, fifth grade, Vilseck Elementary;

Jonathan Bidinger, eighth grade, Vilseck Middle;

Kurtis Thorpe, fourth grade, Vogelweh Elementary;

Chad Olenick, eighth grade, Wiesbaden Middle;

Holly Lanier, third grade, Würzburg Elementary;

Nils Jonsson, eighth grade, Würzburg Middle.

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