"I'm so happy for her. It's her last year, and there's no more spelling bee in our family," Rosemary said.
Koh's brother Matthew was the regional bee champion in 2008 and runner-up in 2010.
For her victory Koh will receive a $2,500 SMART529 college savings plan through a program of the West Virginia Treasurer's office, the Samuel Louis Sugarman award (a $100 savings bond), a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online and a Webster's Third New International Dictionary.
But most importantly she will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, held May 30-June 2 at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.
Koh made a good showing at last year's national bee but did not advance past the preliminary rounds. Only 41 of the 275 spellers that started the competition moved on.
This year, she said she plans to study harder to reach the national bee's televised rounds.
Runner-up Kaitlyn Johnson will receive a $150 cash prize, a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate, a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online and a copy of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
Third-place winner Lauren Coccari will receive $75 in cash, a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate and a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Judges for Saturday's bee were Dr. Letha Zook, vice president of academic affairs for the University of Charleston; Carolyn Dorcas, a retired high school English teacher who continues to teach classes at Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College; and Mark Stotler, assistant director of academic affairs for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
Staff members at Capital High and the Kanawha County Schools Community Education Program helped conduct the bee.
Beverly McCoy, program manager for Bright Futures Learning Services, served as pronouncer.
WSAZ anchor Jessica Ralston served as emcee. The bee will be televised by WSAZ's sister channel, myZ, at 1 p.m. March 31.