Local Student Isaiah Henry Wins Duke Regional Spelling Bee

He will travel to Washington, D.C., to compete in national spelling bee May 30

Beyond the school day, Henry, who lives in Orange County and is currently 10 years old, enjoys reading, exploring the woods behind his house, and playing video games.

Now, Henry, who along with an invitation to compete at the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee will receive one-year subscriptions to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online Dictionary and a one-year subscription to the Britannica Online Premium Encyclopedia.

Henry’s trip to the Washington, D.C.-based competition will include lodging at the Gaylord National Resort for six nights, courtesy of the Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs.

The Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs will also provide Henry’s family a one-time direct cash payment designed to offset the other costs associated with traveling to Washington, D.C. to participate at the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee, such as air travel, meals, taxi or shuttle service, and other incidental costs.

Duke stepped in to sponsor the Durham spelling bee in 2010 after years of no local competition.

Henry told organizers that while in Washington, D.C., he also looks forward to visiting “some of the museums” and noted that he would also like to see the White House.

Henry will also receive the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, which is given to all regional spelling bee winners.

Henry’s victory came as a surprise to him. When asked by event organizers what it was like to win the 2023 Duke Regional Spelling Bee, he said he felt “happy, excited, and shocked.”

Henry’ will visit Washington, D.C., from May 28 to June 2. The Scripps National Spelling Bee will begin with a preliminary round on Tuesday, May 30. Should Henry advance through the preliminary rounds, the final competition will occur on Thursday, June 1.