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Arizona girl reaches National Spelling Bee semifinals

A young girl from Goodyear is making the Valley proud.

Sumaita Mulk, 13, has reached the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in suburban Washington D.C.

“I just talked to her dad this morning,” said Mulk’s sponsor, Bobbie O’Boyle with the Arizona Educational Foundation in Scottsdale.

“I ran into him here at the hotel. He’s beaming. He’s so proud of her. I just hope that all of Arizona is behind her on this.”

Mulk, a seventh-grader, is one of 50 to advance out of the original pool of 228 spellers.

“Sumaita has competed against a thousand schools in Arizona and has made her way to the top,” said O’Boyle. “Now that’s quite an accomplishment.”

This year’s national winner gets $30,000 in cash, a trophy, a $2,500 savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica and an online language course.