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updated: 6/7/2014 10:01 AM

Gov. congratulates national spelling bee finalists

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Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Gov. Pat Quinn is congratulating two Illinois students who represented the state in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Alia Abiad is an eighth grader who attends McClure Junior High School in the Chicago suburb of Western Springs. She placed fifth at the spelling bee in Washington, D.C.

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Abiad also competed in the 2013 national spelling bee, where she tied for 19th place.

Quinn also congratulated Pranav Sivakumar of Grayslake. He finished in second place in the 2013 spelling bee. It was his third consecutive appearance in the prestigious competition.

Quinn honored both finalists during an event in Chicago Friday.

He says the students "showed how important hard work and a good education are for achieving success."

Quinn says: "We can truly say that they've made Illinois proud."

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