Davie student catches national attention for bee outfits at Scripps National Spelling Bee

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida sixth-grader who took part in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee caught the country’s attention for her fashionable attire.

Twelve-year-old Simone Kaplan may not have won the national competition after she made it to the finals, but she nevertheless left her mark.

The St. Bonaventure Catholic School student made it her goal to make it to the finals of the prestigious spelling bee. Her school and all her classmates watched as she spelled every word Thursday night.

“Extremely proud because she’s just a normal girl who is extremely smart, and able to set such a high standard for herself,” said her friend Danielle Hill.

Classmate Javier Colon was in awe of Kaplan’s abilities.

“To have someone your age get up there and start spelling words that I’ve never even heard of — I don’t know what they mean — that’s just amazing,” Colon said.

“The entire staff and students, we were all standing there, holding our breath as she was spelling every single letter,” said St. Bonaventure Principal Lisa Kempinski.

Kaplan made it to the Top 16.

She missed a word by one letter, but this year she was noticed for her smarts and her fashion sense.

Throughout the competition, Kaplan wore outfits and shoes with bees on them.

“I wasn’t in it for the attention. I just thought that the bees showed my enthusiasm for the competition,” Kaplan told 7News.

The student said she was appreciative for all the support. “I just want to say thank you for supporting me through this long journey. I could feel you with me,” she said.

As for returning to the spelling bee, Kaplan said, “I think so, but I’m not sure. I’m gonna need a little while to think on it, but I’m pretty sure I am.”

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