Orange County student competes in famed Scripps National Spelling Bee

Jason Khan Spelling Bee
Jason Khan, 14, from Los Alamitos competes during the Scripps National Spelling Bee Tuesday in Oxon Hill, Maryland. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The word “lepper” is one that 14-year-old student Jason Khan will most likely never forget after this week.

The eighth-grader from McAuliffe Middle School in Los Alamitos represented Orange County in Washington, D.C. at the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday. He spelled the words “diffident,” “upbraid” and “threnody” perfectly before getting eliminated in the fourth round with the word “lepper,” missing it by one “p.” 

Jason had advanced to the quarterfinals by correctly spelling two words and giving the right answer to a multiple-choice word meaning question for a third Tuesday. 

“To see Jason representing not only Los Alamitos Unified School District, but all of Orange County on the national stage is a true testament to his grit, motivation and incredibly hard work,” Los Alamitos Superintendent Dr. Andrew Pulver said. “We honestly could not be more P-R-O-U-D of him!”

Jason qualified for the national competition by winning the Orange County Spelling Bee on March 5. His winning word was “ankh,” a cross with a top loop, which is the ancient Egyptian symbol of life.

He was among 88 spellers from the original field of 234 competing in the quarterfinals of the national spelling bee. The spellers represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Department of Defense Schools in Europe.

According to the Scripps National Spelling Bee website, Jason enjoys games, but he is a scientist at heart. He’s an active member of his school’s associated student body and loves to play board games with his family. He likes to listen to a wide variety of music and he enjoys reading dystopian fiction novels.

This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee aired during primetime June 1 and June 2 on ION, Bounce and Laff. Actor, director and lifelong children’s literacy advocate LeVar Burton hosted the renowned event.

For more information about the Orange County Spelling Bee, visit: