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Escondido middle schoolers prepare for Scripps National Spelling Bee

Escondido middle schoolers prepare for Scripps National Spelling Bee
Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-10 14:27:28-05

ESCONDIDO (KGTV) — Kids at Hidden Valley Middle School are looking to compete in the upcoming spelling bee competition. They've received a list with 450 words they could be asked to spell. Words like centrifuge and incandescent are on the list. They don't have all the answers just yet, because practice has just begun.

“It’s one of those times of the year I look forward to,” said Neomi Navarrete, the librarian at Hidden Valley.

Librarian Neomi Navarrete started accepting applications this week. She says any student from grades 6 to 8 is welcome to participate. So far six have signed up.

“What are you most excited for?”

“Competing, I'm really competitive,” said Christopher Lopez Alcayde, an 11-year-old Spelling Bee Participant.

“Be able to spell better and make my parents proud,” said Candelaria Juarez, a 12-year-old Spelling Bee participant.

From November to January, Navarrete and two teachers will meet with each student every week to practice spelling. In January, they put their skills to the test with a rehearsal Spelling Bee in the school auditorium.

“We can prepare them all they want but it's not until they’re up on the stage where they feel it," Navarrete said. "They see the lights, the mic the judges.”

The winner of the school’s bee will continue their weekly practice until they go to the countywide competition in March. Navarette says no one from Hidden Valley has gotten to nationals after that. The winning prize at the end is $50,000.

“If you won the $50,000 prize, what would you do with the money?”

“Definitely save it and invest it,” Lopez Alcayde said.

“Give it all to my parents because I don’t really need it,” Juarez said.