HATTIESBURG, MS - Seventh Grader Sarah Spencer is an avid speller. She is a student at Presbyterian Christian School in Hattiesburg.
She competed in spelling bee competitions in the past, but now she will represent her home state of Mississippi in the Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
"I'm just kind of amazed that I'm actually going and I'm going to be in that Bee, it's going to be so much fun meeting all the people there," Spencer said.
On Tuesday, Spencer competed in Jackson against 25 other students across the state.
She spelled the championship word "Linger" in the 50th round of the bee.
Spencer practices from a list of nearly 1,200 words.
"For a higher bee, you have to know roots and stuff and rules of languages, and learn so much because you're naming all these words and naming all these things you didn't know," Spencer said.
She said she has a solid strategy.
"I just picture the word in my head and try to say each letter and get them in the right order," Spencer said.
Spencer studies with her coach Mr. Bonner and her mother Sarah Spencer.
"Sarah is a very independent student and a very hard worker," Sarah Spencer said. "She studies very hard on her own. I sometimes call out the words, it's actually pretty rare. She's got a great work ethic."
MAE will fund the expenditures for Spencer.
The national competition will be held May 22-27.