One of the finalists in this year’s National Spelling Bee is from Illinois. Alia Abiad of Western Springs finished fifth out the original 281 who made it to the bee. She says her parents deserve the credit for helping her prepare. “It means so much for me…they’ve really been so supportive throughout the whole bee, so it really motivates me to keep studying, even if I don’t feel like it sometimes,” Abiad said.
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Gov. Pat Quinn Friday honored both Abiad and Pranav Sivakumar of Grayslake, who finished second in last year’s bee. He sees a bright future for both of them. “We are lucky in Illinois to have you, and I can’t do this job forever, so you gotta get ready, OK?” Quinn said. Among the words Abiad and Sivakumar spelled correctly at the bee were sultana, concinnate, transrhenane, and faconne.