Spelling champs to compete in county bee

  • IF YOU GO

  • • WHAT: Victoria County Spelling Bee

    • WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday

    • WHERE: Johnson Symposium, Victoria College, 2200 E. Red River St.

    • COST: Free, open to the public

  • Brenner Allen Lemke

  • Age: 10

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Aloe Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Born in the eye of Hurricane Claudette

    Hobbies: Hunting, archery, baseball, restoration of Coleman lanterns

    Parents: Jason and Faith Lemke

  • Shayla Leann Mesa

  • Age: 12

    Grade: Seventh

    School: Bloomington Middle School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Taking pre-AP classes

    Hobbies: Reading, listening to music, animals

    Parent: Samantha C. Mesa

  • Jasmine Faith Diaz

  • Age: 9

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Bloomington Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: None listed

    Hobbies: Dancing, singing and volleyball

    Parents: Erica Garcia

  • Peyton Elizabeth Quimby

  • Age: 12

    Grade: Sixth

    School: Cade Middle School

    Bee experience: Yes, was a runner-up in third and fifth grade; champion at Vickers Elementary School in fourth grade

    Achievements: Fifth Grade Top 5 students

    Hobbies: Reading, video games, computers

    Parents: Thomas ...

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  • Peyton Elizabeth Quimby

    Age: 12

    Grade: Sixth

    School: Cade Middle School

    Bee experience: Yes, was a runner-up in third and fifth grade; champion at Vickers Elementary School in fourth grade

    Achievements: Fifth Grade Top 5 students

    Hobbies: Reading, video games, computers

    Parents: Thomas Quimby and Meredith Martinez

  • Aman Amirali

  • Age: 11

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Chandler Elementary School

    Bee experience: Chandler Elementary runner-up in 2011-12 school year

    Achievements: Placing in the top five the past two years in UIL Spelling.

    Hobbies: Pokemon collecting and studying

    Parents: Amirali and Shabana Wazirali

  • Rylan Blake Balderas

  • Age: 10

    Grade: Fifth

    School: DeLeon Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Student council class representative, DeLeon kickball team member, UIL participant

    Hobbies: Bike riding and crafts

    Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Rylan Balderas and Mr. and Mrs. Christian Barrios

  • Kissell Fareed Nava

  • Age: 9

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Crain Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: None listed

    Hobbies: Soccer

    Parents: Israel Nava

  • Gitanjali Hill Mehan

  • Age: 11

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Dudley Elementary School

    Bee experience: Dudley Spelling Bee champion in 2012 and 2011

    Achievements: Best of show in science fair 2012, 2013

    Hobbies: Roller skating and reading

    Parents: Janice Hill and Dr. Uppinder Mehan

  • Alize Rene Gabrielle Velasquez

  • Age: 11

    Grade: Fifth

    School: F.W. Gross Elementary School

    Bee experience: F.W. Gross spelling bee champion in 2011

    Achievements: UIL ready writing - placed first in fifth grade

    Hobbies: Reading, collecting purses

    Parents: Patty Lamas

  • Mya Renee Reyes

  • Age: 10

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Guadalupe Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: None listed

    Hobbies: Drawing

    Parents: Lorraine Narvaiz

  • Julio Garcia

  • Age: 11

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Hopkins Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Member of the Tech Club, Hopkins kickball

    Hobbies: None listed

    Parents: Jasmine Fuentes

  • Nic Carlos

  • Age: 12

    Grade: Fifth

    School: William Wood Elementary School

    Bee experience: None listed

    Achievements: None listed

    Hobbies: None listed

    Parents: Anne Mayo

  • Anne Marie Therese Eamiguel

  • Age: 13

    Grade: Seventh

    School: Howell Middle School

    Bee experience: 2011 district spelling bee - third place; 2012 co-champion district spelling bee; regional spelling bee - fifth place; 2013 district champion regional bee - third place.

    Achievements: A honor roll, ...

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  • Anne Marie Therese Eamiguel

    Age: 13

    Grade: Seventh

    School: Howell Middle School

    Bee experience: 2011 district spelling bee - third place; 2012 co-champion district spelling bee; regional spelling bee - fifth place; 2013 district champion regional bee - third place.

    Achievements: A honor roll, delegate to Junior Youth National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., in June 2014

    Hobbies: Playing piano, guitar and singing

    Parents: Felix and Evelyn Eamiguel

  • Jacob Wells

  • Age: 10

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Mission Valley Elementary School

    Bee experience: Runner-up in third grade, served as a county alternate

    Achievements: Football trophies, perfect attendance awards and honor roll

    Hobbies: Football, video games, TV and computer

    Parents: Betsy Ledwig and ...

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  • Jacob Wells

    Age: 10

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Mission Valley Elementary School

    Bee experience: Runner-up in third grade, served as a county alternate

    Achievements: Football trophies, perfect attendance awards and honor roll

    Hobbies: Football, video games, TV and computer

    Parents: Betsy Ledwig and Bruce Wells

  • Rosalyn Marie Brysch

  • Age: 10

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Nazareth Academy

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Won first place at a local Catholic schools competition in ready writing, altar server, Goliad County 4-H, performs with Theatre Victoria

    Hobbies: Bird watching, crafts, martial arts

    Parents: Larrie ...

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  • Rosalyn Marie Brysch

    Age: 10

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Nazareth Academy

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Won first place at a local Catholic schools competition in ready writing, altar server, Goliad County 4-H, performs with Theatre Victoria

    Hobbies: Bird watching, crafts, martial arts

    Parents: Larrie and Brenda Brysch

  • Rachel Nilsen

  • Age: 11

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Northside Baptist School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: None listed

    Hobbies: None listed

    Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Gary Nilsen

  • Natalie Helen Modrow

  • Age: 9

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Nursery Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: A honor roll, Top 10 reader, Top Cat 2012-13, perfect attendance

    Hobbies: Softball, reading, cooking and horses

    Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Modrow

  • Malachi Foster-Prince

  • Age: 10

    Grade: Fourth

    School: O'Connor Elementary School

    Bee experience: O'Connor spelling bee runner-up in 2013

    Achievements: A honor roll in 2012-13

    Hobbies: Baseball (catcher), basketball, running, drawing and reading

    Parents: Trisha Foster

  • Pranan Jain

  • Age: 12

    Grade: Seventh

    School: Our Lady of Victory School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Top student in math and science, gold medalist in piano, gold medalist in state music competition

    Hobbies: Chess, swimming, science experiments and making robots

    Parents: Dr. ...

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  • Pranan Jain

    Age: 12

    Grade: Seventh

    School: Our Lady of Victory School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Top student in math and science, gold medalist in piano, gold medalist in state music competition

    Hobbies: Chess, swimming, science experiments and making robots

    Parents: Dr. Arun K. Jain and Naveen Jain

  • Tiffany Michelle Daughtry

  • Age: 12

    Grade: Seventh

    School: Patti Welder Middle School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Fourth-grade and fifth-grade citizenship award

    Hobbies: Reading, playing video games, cleaning

    Parents: Adam and Shannon Daughtry

  • Gavin Salinas

  • Age: 10

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Rowland Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: An avid kickball player

    Hobbies: Reading, playing video games, cleaning

    Parents: April Garza and Daniel Barron

  • Taylar Brooke Rhoden

  • Age: 9

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Schorlemmer Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: None listed

    Hobbies: Reading and writing

    Parents: Lynsey Pittman

  • Julianna Rosales

  • Age: 11

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Smith Elementary School

    Bee experience: School champion 2012-13

    Achievements: Student council, cheerleading, UIL, Sea Club

    Hobbies: Soccer and reading

    Parents: Felipe and Valeria Rosales

  • Ryan Ehsan

  • Age: 13

    Grade: Eighth

    School: Stroman Middle School

    Bee experience: Regional 2013, 2012 County Bee

    Achievements: Plays guitar, piano and drums

    Hobbies: Listening to music and chilling

    Parents: Dr. Hashimul and Nusrat Ehsan

  • Vrinda Katarya

  • Age: 9

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Trinity Episcopal School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: None listed

    Hobbies: Reading

    Parents: Alok and Renu Katarya

  • Kristyn Marie Gaytan

  • Age: 10

    Grade: Fourth

    School: Torres Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Early Act First Knight Responsibility award winner

    Hobbies: Minecraft, cleaning, playing outside and football

    Parents: Christopher and Rebecca Gaytan

  • Emma Gene Pratka

  • Age: 11

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Vickers Elementary School

    Bee experience: Vickers 2013 Champion

    Achievements: Student council president, first place in Accelerated Reader points in her grade level three years running

    Hobbies: Reading, basketball and art

    Parents: Dwaine and Amy Prakta

  • Alexis Marie Limberty

  • Alexis Marie Limberty

    Age: 11

    Grade: Fifth

    School: Shields Elementary School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: A straight-A student

    Hobbies: Violin

    Parents: Cheryl Strahler

  • Braydynne Brown

  • Age: 6

    Grade: First

    School: Victoria Christian School

    Bee experience: None

    Achievements: Highest achiever in phonics reading; very creative, inventive and won the Christmas tree decorating contest

    Hobbies: Reading and coloring

    Parents: Kendrick Brown and Heather Green

Rosalyn Marie Brysch and Brenner Allen Lemke shook with excitement when they learned they would be competing in the Victoria County Spelling Bee.

"If I had been able to faint, I probably would have," Brenner, 10, said.

Rosalyn, 10, was named the Spelling Bee Champion at Nazareth Academy; Brenner was named the champion at Aloe Elementary School.

"I was shaking," Rosalyn said. "I don't know how to explain it, but I was just so happy."

Twenty-nine Victoria County students, ranging from third to eighth grade, will go head-to-head Thursday at the Victoria County Spelling Bee.

"It was a pretty good feeling advancing because I had tried to win every year that I could compete," said Brenner, whose winning word was "premier."

Rosalyn, who won with the word "bazooka," said she practiced by using an audio recording application on her iPad.

"I pause it before I get to the word spelling, and then I spell it out loud," said Rosalyn, who sometimes practices with her mother.

Susan Prukop, Victoria College development director, said about a fourth of the participants are returning victors.

Champion words from the past include "excoriate" and "quittance," Prukop said.

Cindy Buchholz, Victoria College dean of arts, humanities and social sciences, is the pronouncer assigned to the competition.

"She's been the pronouncer for several years," Prukop said.

Preparing for the Victoria County Spelling Bee has expanded her vocabulary, Rosalyn said.

"I wish everybody the best of the luck," Rosalyn said.

Brenner said he is nervous but that he's also confident about his spelling ability.

"You have some hard competition coming your way," said Brenner to his fellow contestants.

Prizes include gift cards to Hastings, ribbons and contest certificates, Prukop said.

The top two spellers from the Victoria County Spelling Bee will advance to the Regional Spelling Bee on March 18 at Johnson Symposium.