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Child Who Learned English Just 2 Years Ago Wins School Spelling Bee

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Hard work and determination can make all the difference when it comes to reaching a goal. This proved true for one boy from Ecuador who dreamed of becoming a champion.

Luciano Armendariz is a 5th grader who attends Hite Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky. For the past 2 years, the studious young man has worked to learn and perfect his English.

Armendariz moved to the U.S. when he was in 3rd grade. “All of his English speaking education here in the states has been here at Hite Elementary,” school principal Sheridan Barnett told WLKY.

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Principal Barnett credits Armendariz’s progress to the “hard work and care of his family and some TLC from teachers” and even from “some of his peers who also spoke Spanish.”

The boy shared it was difficult at first, but soon his goal surpassed simply learning a new language. Instead, he had much higher achievements in mind: the school’s spelling bee.

Have you ever competed in a spelling bee?

In 2018 he competed and came close but didn’t quite make it. “I was close to getting it last year, but I messed up on a word,” he said.

Still, Armendariz didn’t give up. When it came time to compete in the 2019 school spelling bee, the 5th grader stood tall.

Though he admits he was nervous, those nerves didn’t stop him from becoming this year’s champion, just like he’d dreamed.

The bilingual student beat 17 other students, winning this year’s title with a huge smile on his face. His principal couldn’t be more proud.

“The other amazing story that I like to present to students, and adults even, is you don’t have to be the best at everything,” she told WLKY.  “But you have to work harder than everyone else in the room to be successful. And he did.”

The school is proud of their spelling star, too. “Congrats to our winner, Luciano!” the school’s Instagram post reads. “And to all the participants, BIG thanks for your sportsmanship, composure and encouragement of each other!”

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We’d like to send our heartfelt congrats to this young man as well. His story is inspiring for anyone who may have been told their dreams are impossible.

Well done, Luciano! We hope you’ll keep studying. Maybe one day we’ll even see you at the National Spelling Bee!

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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