The Highland Park Elementary cafeteria is planning a special menu on April 9 in honor of Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader who recently gained international attention following an extraordinary Jackson County Spelling Bee competition.
During the annual Jackson County Spelling Bee, the Highland Park student and Kush Sharma of Frontier School of Innovation in Kansas City survived 66 championship rounds with the two finalists going head to head for 47 rounds on Feb. 22.
Sophia and Kush competed in a rematch on March 8 with Kush winning first place and advancing to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Sophia is runner-up for the county bee.
The drawn-out Jackson County finish received international attention, with coverage by media outlets such as National Public Radio, Time magazine, The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and the New York Daily News. Sophia appeared on the CNN national morning news show and ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Feb. 25, traveling to New York City to be a guest on each show. In addition, she made a trip to California during spring break to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
Through the Lee’s Summit R-7 Nutrition Services Department, the school will present “Sophia’s Lunch” April 9. The special mean features several of Sophia’s favorite foods, including cheese jammers, pepperoni wedge pizza, orange smiles, grapes, roasted asparagus and steamed carrots.
Sophia qualified for the Jackson County Spelling Bee by winning her school competition.