Fargo student advances at National Spelling Bee

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (Gray DC) -- Portulaca – it means a tropical plant. It also means eighth grader Tobi Shorunke from Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo is on to the next round of the National Spelling Bee.

“I’m glad and I’m grateful for the opportunity," said Tobi.

Tobi started spelling in his school bee, then competed at the county level, and most recently he won the state bee.

“You get to learn new words, and whenever you spell a hard word right, people look at you like you’re crazy," he explained.

It’s not just the students doing the work. Preparing for the national spelling bee is a family affair.

“It’s really a very challenging event to go through," said Tobi's mom, Bukola Bakare. "So we decided we’re going to support him and provide him with all that he needs to be successful in the spelling bee.”

As Tobi prepares for Round Three Wednesday, he can only hope he gets his favorite word to spell: finesse.

When asked why it's has favorite word, Tobi replied, “Because I finesse people.”