Yahya Mohammed, a student at Glenbrook Elementary in Elgin, Ill., took the top prize in the 2024 Kane County Regional Spelling Bee held at Thompson Middle School in St. Charles on Wednesday, March 20. He is now eligible to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland in May. 

Mohammed is one of eight competitors that competed in front of friends and family at the Regional Spelling Bee after winning competitions at their respective schools. The event spanned 18 rounds before Mohammed earned the designation of regional champion with the winning word, equilibrium

“The students show an impressive amount of determination at this event each year,” said Patricia Dal Santo, Regional Superintendent at the Kane County Regional Office of Education. “The amount of effort put into preparing for a regional is a feat itself. Scripps provides a study guide featuring 4,000 words for students to familiarize, and watching them succeed as they test their spelling acumen among their peers from Kane County is always gratifying.” 

Participants, who ranged from elementary to middle school age, each received a swag bag from the Regional Office of Education and a certificate of participation. Other spellers included Gianna Chiarito (St. Peter School, Geneva), Lauren Harte (Holy Cross Catholic School, Batavia), Emmett Rigertas (Thompson Middle School, St. Charles), Eric Suhayda (Kaneland John Shields Elementary, Sugar Grove), Andrew Taing (St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, Hampshire), Joseph Tejada (Hampshire Middle School, Hampshire), and Cristian Varney (St. Catherine of Siena Elementary, West Dundee).

With the win, Mohammed can participate in what Scripps calls “Bee Week”, a week-long experience for students and their families with special events, educational workshops, excursions into Washington D.C., and more. The national competition begins with preliminaries on Tuesday, May 28 and concludes with Finals on Thursday, May 30.