Kenosha teen competing in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Posted at 4:44 PM, May 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 17:54:20-04

The top spellers from around the United States are in Washington, D.C. for the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Three competitors are from Wisconsin, including Hanna Ghouse of Kenosha.

The 13-year-old is a 7th grader at KTEC West. She began preparing for the spelling bee more than two years ago.

"I like to read a lot and so I just tried out in 5th grade, and I actually ended up winning my school bee," she said.

Since then she has won several competitions, including another bee at her school, several regional competitions, and she took 2nd in the 2017 State Spelling Bee.

Ghouse practices at least three hours a day with the help of her family.

"I want to see her succeed, and I know she would do the same for me," said her 17-year-old brother, Adam.

He added, "I help her almost every day, but my mother and father actually do quite a bit as well."

Hanna said the family works on everything from vocabulary, to spelling, to the origins of the words.

"My main area of difficulty, personally, is French words. They're really hard for me so I make sure to practice the rules and make sure that I know all of that," she said.

Hanna called going to the Bee a "great opportunity" and had words of encouragement for anyone who's considering trying out: "I encourage you to do anything- even to pursue any of your dreams. If you want to become a great basketball player or something like that, not just spelling."

The 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee runs through Sunday, June 4th. The other two Wisconsin spellers are Kieran McKinney of West Salem and and Martius Bautista of Janesville.

Watch for live reports from the Spelling Bee all week on TODAY'S TMJ4.