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Magic Valley middle school student wins Scripps Regional Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee winner
Posted at 7:05 PM, Mar 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-31 11:26:00-04

BOISE, Idaho — Eliana Castro of South Hills Middle School won the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee hosted at Boise State.

B-O-C-A-G-E was the final word that led to Castro's victory and now she prepares to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee being held in Washington D.C. on May 30.

RELATED | Eliana Castro wins Scripps Regional Spelling Bee

Many of her friends and family were excited about her win but her teacher at South Hills knew after she won the school's own spelling bee that Castro had a fair shot of winning in Boise.

“She was participating in our spelling bee here. I was like, she's going to do great and when she won, I'm like, I am so excited for you. You're going to do amazing when you go to Regionals and then I found out right after it happened, and I was hooting and hollering so excited for her,” said Tiffany Patterson, STEM teacher at South Hills middle school. “I think Ellie is by far one of the most amazing kids I've ever met she is going to succeed in whatever she does in life.”

Castro says her family's support and the time they spent practicing with her is what led to the success she is seeing. Her father is one of her biggest fans as she looks to win the biggest spelling competition in the U.S.

“It was down to three, and then down to two, and then when she got the last word correct ... oh man, I’m a little choked up inside,” said Jose Castro, Eliana's father.

Eliana says she is nervous but excited to compete in D.C. and says if she wins, plans to use the cash prize to go toward college.

“If I win, I would probably put it in my savings account for my college and stuff and I would probably take a little out for my Quinceanera," she said.