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Spelling champion is 'classroom dictionary'

LOURDES VAZQUEZ

By LOURDES VAZQUEZ
March 20, 2010 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 19, 2010 at 10:20 p.m.

Pauline Negrete reviews for the regional spelling bee with her mother at their home in Edna. Negrete has completed in spelling bees since she was seven years old.Jennifer Ross/Advocate Photo Staff

Pauline Negrete reviews for the regional spelling bee with her mother at their home in Edna. Negrete has completed in spelling bees since she was seven years old.Jennifer Ross/Advocate Photo Staff

Surrounded by books, spelling booklets and lists, Pauline Negrete prepares for her second appearance at the regional spelling bee.

"I try to study every day," said Pauline, a student at Edna Elementary School.

As the sun shines in to her kitchen where Pauline prefers to study, she discussed her dream of advancing to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

"I'm studying every day until I make sure I know them (the words)," said Pauline, 11.

The fifth-grader is just one of 14 students who will compete in the Regional Spelling Bee on Tuesday night.

"I'm happy that I'm representing my school," said Pauline, who has competed in the spelling bee since third grade and in UIL spelling since first grade.

Classmates aware of Pauline's annual spelling bee tradition refer to her when uncertain of how to spell a word.

"One of my classmate's said 'she's our dictionary,'" Pauline said.

"We're very proud of her," said her parents, Maria and Pablo Negrete.

Maria attributes her daughters spelling to her love of reading.

"Her grandparents used to read to her all the time and her dad loves to read," said Maria, who finds her daughter's love for competition also drives the 11- year-old.

"It's fun trying to learn new things and trying to win," said Pauline, whose favorite past time is reading and studying.

"I like to study anything, math science, reading," said Pauline, who hopes to become a pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.

"We have high expectations. She wants to visit all the museums in Washington," Pablo said.

The 11-year-old has expectations of her own.

"I'm going to keep competing until I can't do it anymore, which is in eighth grade," said Pauline, who will also attend a swim meet in San Diego with her swim team in 2011.

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