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Academy student advances in spelling competition

Two local students have been recognized for their respective spelling talents at Pahrump’s Community Christian Academy.

Amega Nguyen, a seventh grader, captured the Association of Christian Schools International District Spelling Bee in Las Vegas.

Nguyen placed second among all seventh graders before advancing to the spell-off where he outlasted 19 other competitors. He advances to the regional spelling bee in Littleton, Colo. on Feb. 28.

Nguyen said he takes a no-nonsense approach when preparing for the challenge.

He also indicated what some of his favorite classes are.

“I study by going through the list of words and test myself on any missed words and keep track of any words I misspelled and I get help from my family,” he said. “Math is my favorite, favorite subject. I like history too. I want to be a doctor or an engineer when I grow up.”

Nguyen noted he has a strategy whenever he’s faced with a word he’s not sure about.

“I normally ask for the definition,” he said. “If I know the word’s definition, I would think of it in my mind.”

For his efforts Nguyen won a medal when all was said and done.

Fifth grader Michelle Pawlisz also earned a spot in the spell-off but fell short and was eliminated from the competition.

Pawlisz did earn a ribbon for her efforts.

She said she prepares by simply going over the words repeatedly until she feels somewhat comfortable.

“I just read through the words and learn what they sound like,” she said. “My mom helps by testing me on some of the words.”

Though her favorite subject at present is penmanship, she has other aspirations later on in life.

“I want to be a fashion designer and create my own line of clothing,” she said.

Pahrump Christian Academy’s Renee Bell said she and all of the faculty and classmates are proud of both students’ accomplishments.

“Amega is going to the regionals next week for the Association of Christian Schools regional spelling bee,” she said. “He’s been studying the spelling list that is provided and it prepares the students for the spelling bee. He also has a dictionary that he uses to study. Michelle was able to get into the spell-off too. She wasn’t able to advance, but we certainly look forward to more from her in the future.”

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