Local student outlasts older competition at regional spelling bee

Age definitely doesn’t intimidate Hampton-Dumont fifth grader Roxi Valenzuela.

     The 11-year-old outpaced 38 of the area’s best spellers en route to a first place finish at the North Iowa Regional Spelling Bee on March 26 in Clear Lake. The event featured students from 12 area middle schools, but they were no match for the scrappy fifth grader from H-D. Valenzuela came out on top in the eighth round of the competition after correctly spelling the word “isochronous” for the title.

     “What was really neat about the regional spelling bee was that everyone else was sixth, seventh and eighth graders. She was the only fifth grader there, and she won the whole thing,” said H-D K-6 Talented and Gifted instructor LeAnn Braun.

     Valenzuela’s victory was a product of hard work and a lot of studying. Prior to the regional meet, Braun administered a 10-question spelling test to the entire H-D middle school. Students who answered eight or more of the questions correctly moved on to the middle school’s own preliminary spelling bee, with the top three advancing to the regional event in Clear Lake.

Read the full article in the April 2 edition of the Hampton Chronicle.