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A boy in a blue shirt is on stage at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He is smiling ands hands are in his pockets. He has a string around his shoulders holding a large yellow card with his name on it against his chest.

Central Kentucky schools will have an opportunity to send a student to the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee when the University of Kentucky College of Education hosts its first regional spelling bee this spring. 

Schools in 39 Central Kentucky counties (including private schools, cooperative schools and home schools) are eligible to send a student to compete at the UK College of Education Big Blue Bee, open to students in first through eighth grade who win their school-level event. 

As an official 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee regional partner, the UK College of Education will sponsor one winner of the Big Blue Bee to compete for the Scripps Cup at the national competition in Washington, D.C.  

“When we learned that Scripps needed a regional partner to give students in Central Kentucky the chance to represent the Commonwealth on a national stage, we wanted to make this happen for youth in our area,” said UK College of Education Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Partnerships, Margaret Mohr- Schroeder, Ph.D., a professor of STEM Education. 

The UK College of Education Big Blue Bee will take place Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Lexington. To participate, elementary and middle schools may register through the Scripps educator portal now through Jan. 31, 2024. The current Scripps enrollment fee is $180 per school; however, the fee will increase to $199 after Oct. 31. Registered schools can send one schoolwide winner to compete at the UK College of Education Big Blue Bee. The regional winner will advance to the national competition and the trip will be sponsored by the UK College of Education. 

“Sharing the excitement of this event with educators, students and families is a great example of the community connections we have made since our establishment as a college in 1923. This inaugural spelling bee will be a memorable event as we celebrate the impact of our college during its 100th anniversary this year. We hope the Big Blue Bee will produce the next national champion from the University of Kentucky,” said UK College of Education Acting Dean Danelle Stevens-Watkins, Ph.D., who is also UK associate vice president for research, diversity & inclusion and a professor of counseling psychology. 

For more information about the UK College of Education Big Blue Bee, please contact Mariama Lockington at  

Schools in the following counties are part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee’s Central Kentucky region: 

  • Anderson 
  • Bath 
  • Bourbon 
  • Boyle 
  • Breathitt 
  • Casey 
  • Clark 
  • Clay 
  • Estill 
  • Fayette 
  • Fleming 
  • Franklin 
  • Garrard 
  • Harrison 
  • Jackson 
  • Jessamine 
  • Knott 
  • Knox 
  • Laurel 
  • Lee 
  • Lincoln 
  • Madison 
  • Menifee 
  • Mercer 
  • Montgomery 
  • Morgan 
  • Nicholas 
  • Owsley 
  • Perry 
  • Powell 
  • Pulaski 
  • Rockcastle 
  • Rowan 
  • Russell 
  • Scott 
  • Wayne 
  • Whitley 
  • Wolfe 
  • Woodford