MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Students from across Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties put their spelling skills to the test Tuesday at the Miami Herald’s 72nd annual spelling bee competition.

In the end, it all came down to Jose Santana from Doral Academy who took first place.  RASG Plitt Hebrew Academy’s Jack Benveniste came in second and Jonathan Elisabeth from Princeton Christian took third place.

More than 250 spellers from Miami-Dade and Monroe County public and private schools in grades 4 through 8 took part in the spelling bee at Jungle Island in Miami.  CBS4 Anchor Jawan Strader and Meteorologist David Bernard are co-hosts of the event.

Last month, more than 125 spellers in Broward County participating in the Broward Bee at Signature Grand in Davie.  The winner of the Broward Bee in the Elementary school division was Peyton Robertson from Pine Crest School.

In the Middle School category, 7th grader Christal Schermeister from Hearts Homeschool Group took the top prize.

The winners of both the Broward and Miami-Dade/Monroe Bees will travel to Washington D.C. to participate in the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. the week of May 27th through June 1st.

The Miami Herald Spelling Bee Middle School champions also receive a free one-year subscription to the Encyclopedia Britannica Online for Kids, the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, a $100 Series EE U.S. Savings Bond and a Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Other prizes and plaques are awarded to the Elementary School Champion and to the finalists.


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