Tommy Cherry, an eighth-grade student at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in western Boynton Beach, is once again competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
While he didn't make the finals last year, he said he learned a lot from the experience and hopes to be less nervous this year.
"It is just a whole new experience being on the stage in front of thousands of people. But now that I've had experience with it, I feel like I'll be able to handle my nerves much better. Since it is my last year being eligible, I'm going to mostly focus on having a good time," said Tommy.
He and the other competitors completed a written test Monday.
On Tuesday, they will begin the preliminary rounds where they spell words on stage.
The 50 finalists will be announced Wednesday evening.