Jordan Hoffman still had a smile on her face even after misspelling her first word in the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Jordan Hoffman still had a smile on her face even after misspelling her first word in the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.


“It is a blessing straight from God that I even made it to the finals,” said the Lee’s Summit teen by telephone from Washington, D.C. “I have prayed so hard. It was a blessing I made it back to Washington, D.C., and it was a blessing that I was a finalist. Whatever happens after, I am at peace.”


Jordan, 14, who just completed the eighth grade at Pleasant Lea Middle School in Lee’s Summit, misspelled the word, “canities” in the seventh round, which was the first of the finals. Jordan gave the spelling “conities.” The word is a medical term for the graying or whitening of hair.


She was one of nine finalists to make it through three difficult semifinal rounds Thursday morning. She is also the first Eastern Jackson County student to make it to the finals since Connor Spencer in 2007 and the only Kansas City area student to make it past the semifinals this year.


“We were amazed by the difficulty of words,” Mark Hoffman, Jordan’s father, said by phone. “We were really impressed with how she has done and are thankful for this opportunity.”


After passing the first round written test, Jordan correctly spelled “egress” and “pharmacology” on Wednesday to reach the semifinals. In Thursday’s semifinal rounds 4, 5 and 6, she spelled “toxophilite,” “trophobiosis” and “heiau” to earn her berth as one of the final nine.


Jordan won the right to compete in the national bee after winning the Jackson County Spelling Bee in March. This is the third and final year that Jordan has competed at the national spelling bee and her first time to make it into the top 50 semifinalists. She said with each round, she was “deep in prayer” that she would get a word that she knew.


“I did everything I could to prepare. There are no regrets,” she said. “I am just so thankful to everyone who has given me this opportunity once again. It has been a terrific experience.”


Mark Hoffman said they cannot be prouder of Jordan’s accomplishments this year.


“She was worked extremely hard to prepare this year,” he said. “She has shown dedication that most adults can only strive for.”