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More Than 1,000 Students From Two Schools Compete in District Spelling Bee

Mohammad Farhan outlasted more than 1,000 of his contemporaries to win this year's North Palos School District 117 Spelling Bee to advance to the South Cook Region Spelling Bee on Feb. 5. That event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Southland College Charter Prep High School in Richton Park.

Mohammad, a third grader at Oak Ridge School, competed against five of his peers (two from Oak Ridge and three from Glen Oaks) in the finals of the district spelling bee on Thursday. He and fellow third grader Huda Khan went back and forth for more than 20 rounds after the first four participants bowed out by Round 11.

Conrady Junior High School did not compete this year.

More than 500 students from both Oak Ridge and Glen Oaks competed last month in individual classroom and school spelling bees to advance to the district finals. Students started out with "third-grade words" as a warmup but quickly progressed to seventh- and eighth-grade words. Huda bowed out after leaving the "h" off charismatic. Mohammad then had to correctly spell "servitude" and "tremendous" before he was named the winner of this year's district spelling bee.

A shy smile crossed Mohammad's face after he was told that he had spelled both words correctly. A much larger and brighter smile emerged after he was handed the impressive trophy he got for winning the contest. The event is all part of the famous Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee held annually in Washington, D.C. 

Media Specialists Susan McMillin and Christine Pulgar conducted the district spelling bee.

"This is the third year we have held this contest and the kids really love it," McMillin said. "It was a frenzy this year. We had nearly 600 students compete and that's a lot of students.

"The kids are really into the spelling bee," she said. "They have worked really hard studying the words. I'm really proud of all of them."

Mohammad Farhan Won The District 117 Spelling Bee

Huda Khan and Mohammad Farhan