Huntsville seventh grader set to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee for the 3rd straight year

HUNTSVILLE, Ala - One of the best spellers in the state calls the Rocket City home. Erin Howard is returning to the Scripps National Spelling Bee to represent Alabama for the third time. She will be competing against more than 200 spellers from around the world.

"It was amazing. There are no other words to describe it," said Erin about her previous trips to the competition.

Erin's interest in spelling started at the age of seven during a school spelling bee.

"That's when my teacher, Ms. Pang, kind of introduced me to the whole concept of the national spelling bee," said Erin. "That year I first watched it on ESPN and I just thought, 'wow, I just want to do it one day.'"

Before she leaves for Washington again, Erin has a lot of work to do. With the help of her entire family, her goal is to master 200 - 300 words a day. Erin dedicates several hours a day to prepare.

"My bare minimum is two hours. I hope. That's my goal. On weekends I want to spend six to eight hours."

While the competition is heating up at the bee, her support system keeps her cool. "It's also so fun because you know that there are hundreds of people out there maybe pulling for me."

Erin added she wants to take home the gold this time around not only for herself, but also for the state.