Fashionable Davie teen takes on Scripps National Spelling Bee for third year

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A 13-year-old girl from Davie is becoming a well known contestant at the Scripps National Spelling Bee and not just for her spelling.

Simone Kaplan will hit the stage for the third time in a fashionable manner on Thursday.

As in years past, she will be dressed in outfits covered in bees.

“She really likes bees,” said Samantha Bernardo, one of Kaplan’s friends and peers at St. Bonaventure Catholic School. “Whenever she comes to school, she’ll have a bee accessory on.”

“Even her iPad has a queen bee on it with her name on it,” added Megan McInerney, Kaplan’s friend. “It’s so cute.”

Kaplan was named as one of the competition’s 50 finalists on Wednesday.

“I think she might have a chance to win because of how quickly she’s been answering the words,” said Quinn Okeefe, one of Kaplan’s peers.

Kaplan’s classmates back at the school are excited for the teen.

“You can see the school enthusiasm. They truly are rooting for her,” said teacher Ann Robbie. “She’s an inspiration to all of us. We watched her study throughout the year.”

Final rounds will take place throughout the day on Thursday and the championship round will take place at night.

“I’ve known Simone since I was in preschool, and to know that she’s made such a big accomplishment making it to the National Spelling Bee and making it this far is just incredible,” said Danielle Hill, one of Kaplan’s friends.

In the eyes of her biggest fans, South Florida’s Queen Bee has already won.

“If she doesn’t win, she’ll always be number one,” said Okeefe.

“Either way, Simone is going to come back, and she’s going to be a member of our family,” added Robbie. “She’ll succeed at whatever she does.”

Kaplan is trending on social media with her own hashtag: #SlayingWhileSpelling.

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