Jordi DeJong, a student at Villa Maria Academy, will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this June in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Villa Maria Academy)

Jordi DeJong, an eighth-grader from Villa Maria Academy Lower School in Malvern, correctly spelled the word “lurid,” and defended her championship title at this year’s 2019 Chester County Spelling Bee.

The Chester County Spelling Bee, which is coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) and sponsored by CCRES Educational and Behavioral Health Services, was held on Feb. 13 at the CCIU’s Educational Service Center. The competition is open to all students through grade eight who are enrolled in a public, private, parochial or home school.

Students qualified for the Chester County Bee by winning their respective schools’ competitions. Participants prepared by studying at home using lists provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The win marked DeJong’s third year in a row at the Chester County Spelling Bee, and her second year as champion. DeJong believes the vocabulary she has acquired through her avid reading was key to her recognizing some of the most challenging words in the competition.

DeJong will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. this June.