What: The ninth annual Howard County Library System Spelling Bee, which is registered with Scripps National as an official regional bee.

When: Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m.

Where: Reservoir High School, 11550 Scaggsville Road.

Cost: Free


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Contestants: Fourth- through eighth-grade students enrolled in public and private schools as well as homeschool associations who have qualified. Sixty-three students expected to compete.

At stake: The first place winner receives a trophy (as does his/her school), a $1,000 college scholarship, and the opportunity to represent Howard County in the National Spelling Bee, all expenses paid.

Defending champion: Jack Nolan, who won his second bee (he was 2009 champion), is no longer is eligible.

Last year's winning word: kudize.

Pronouncer: Ellen Giles, Howard County Board of Education; Emcee: Richard Story, JPB Partners; Head Judge: Courtney Watson, Howard County Council; Dictionary Judge: Richard Alexander, Howard County Library System board of trustees; Appeals Judge: Cindy Ardinger, Friends of Howard County Library; Rounds and Records Judge: Ira Levy, Howard County government; Rounds and Records Official: Tom Munns, Howard County Library System board of trustees; Timekeeper: Holly Johnson, Howard County Library System.

Source: Howard County Library System