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Therese Eamiguel, of Howell Middle School, left, and her sister, Bea Marie Louise Eamiguel, of De Leon Elementary, sit in front of their piano in their home. The sisters will compete against one another in Thursday's Victoria County Spelling Bee.
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  • VICTORIA COUNTY SPELLING BEE PARTICIPANTS

    1. Rhani Ramesh Hingoanee

    Aloe Elementary School, fifth grade, daughter of Radhika and Ramesh Hingoranee

    1. Melissa Guerrero

    Bloomington Elementary School, fourth grade, daughter of Jorge and Nelly Guerrero

    1. Mackenzie Renee Gutierrez

    Bloomington Middle School, sixth ...

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  • VICTORIA COUNTY SPELLING BEE PARTICIPANTS

    1. Rhani Ramesh Hingoanee

    Aloe Elementary School, fifth grade, daughter of Radhika and Ramesh Hingoranee

    1. Melissa Guerrero

    Bloomington Elementary School, fourth grade, daughter of Jorge and Nelly Guerrero

    1. Mackenzie Renee Gutierrez

    Bloomington Middle School, sixth grade, daughter of Chris Gutierrez and Kristen Mang

    1. Elisha Hosey-Stewart

    Cade Middle School, seventh grade, daughter of Erin Hosey

    1. Gabriel Logan Watts

    Chandler Elementary School, fifth grade, son of Chris and Angela Watts

    1. Jada Marie Rodriguez

    Crain Elementary School, fifth grade, daughter of Deborah Rodriguez

    1. Bea Eamiguel

    De Leon Elementary School, fifth grade, daughter of Evelyn and Felix Eamiguel

    1. Dylan Michael Herring

    Dudley Elementary School, fourth grade, son of Adrian and Melissa Cannady

    1. Juliet Monet Rangnow

    F.W. Gross Elementary School, fourth grade, daughter of Bertha McDowell

    1. Anneliese Covarrubias

    Guadalupe Elementary School, third grade, daughter of Angela and Adolfo Covarrubias

    1. Alondra Marquez

    Hopkins Elementary School, fifth grade, daughter of Juana and Maria Marquez

    1. Therese Eamiguel

    Howell Middle School, sixth grade, daughter of Evelyn and Felix Eamiguel

    1. Hayden Zandonatti

    Mission Valley Elementary School, fourth grade, son of Erika Zandonatti

    1. Famyrah Lafortune

    Nazareth Academy, seventh grade, daughter of Marie Pierre-Louis Lafortune

    1. Ian Gavin Gutierrez

    Northside Baptist School, first grade, son of Monica Woolsey and Michael Gutierrez

    1. Kesli Gail Pratka

    Nursery Elementary School, fifth grade, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Pratka

    1. Zachary Summa

    O'Connor Elementary School, fourth grade, son of Alicia and Michael Summa

    1. Amy Alcasabas

    Our Lady of Victory School, eighth grade, daughter of Dr. Robert and Mrs. Kathleen Alcasabas

    1. Isaiah Garcia

    Torres Elementary School, fifth grade, son of Susanna and Jerry Garcia

    1. Macey Murray

    Rowland Elementary School, fifth grade, daughter of Traylor and Natasha Sproles; David and Tiffany Murray

    1. Rama Rifat Hamoudah

    Schorlemmer Elementary School, fifth grade, daughter of Mohammad and Obaida Hamoudah

    1. Madison Gonzales

    Shields Elementary School, fourth grade, daughter of Abraham and Andrea Gonzales

    1. Julianna Rosales

    Smith Elementary School, fourth grade, daughter of Felipe and Valeria Rosales

    1. Ryan Ehsan

    Stroman Middle School, seventh grade, son of Dr. Hashimul Ehsan and Mrs. Nusrat Sultana

    1. Adriana Brown

    Trinity Episcopal School, sixth grade, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Brown

    1. Emma Pratka

    Vickers Elementary School, fourth grade, daughter of Dwaine and Amy Pratka

    1. Braden Eakins

    Victoria Christian School, first grade, son of Selena Peppers and Jason Eakins

    1. Nicholas Rage Carlos

    William Wood Elementary School, fourth grade, son of Anna Mayo

  • IF YOU GO

  • • WHAT: Victoria County Spelling Bee

    • WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday

    • WHERE: The Johnson Symposium Center, 2200 E. Red River St.

    •  COST: Free

A slow, timid smile cracked from the 10-year-old's lips.

Although she had been asked a rather simple question, Bea Eamiguel stood uncomfortably, not knowing what to say.

It's a condition her mother, Evelyn Eamiguel, said has improved over the years.

"For two years, she didn't talk very much at school," the mother said. "But then after some speech therapy and competing in the spelling bee, she's started to get out of her shell."

Therese Eamiguel, 12, sat next to her younger sister, rolling her eyes.

"You don't want to get her talking," Therese said. "After she does, she won't stop."

Bea smiles at her sister, giggling, accepting Therese's friendly taunt.

On Thursday, the sisters will compete against each other at the Victoria County Spelling Bee, co-sponsored by the Victoria Advocate, Victoria College and the Region III Education Service Center.

The co-winners of the county bee will advance to the regional spelling bee. The winner of the regional bee will advance to the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C.

Therese, who advanced from the county to the regional competition last year, said she and her sister spend hours each week studying with their father.

Felix Eamiguel, who used to work as a doctor in the Philippines, decided to put his American medical exams on hold to spend more time with his daughters.

The family moved to Victoria in 2005.

Therese, who speaks Filipino and some Chinese, said her bilingual background has helped her memorize words.

The girls spend time learning how to spell words categorized by their languages of origin.

Aggregate, which is a Latin word, was one of the two words Therese regrets misspelling in one of her past competitions.

Another time, Therese misspelled 'truth,' as 't-r-u-d-e.'

"I get so upset," Therese said. "Especially when it's an easy word."

Bea, whose name is pronounced BAY-AH, said no matter who wins, she'll be happy to see either one of them advance to regionals.

"I'm really happy our parents have supported us all the way with this," Therese said. "May the best sister win."



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