Eighth-grader crowned Spelling Bee champion

How do you spell success in Garland ISD? Eighth-grader Gracie Graham could no doubt do it correctly, but she could also most likely provide the country of origin and use the word in a sentence. In January, Graham bested dozens of other elementary and middle school competitors to win the district’s 2018 Spelling Bee. She spelled 26 words correctly, including the one that gave her the victory—zinnia, which is a type of flower.

Graham is a student at Austin Academy for Excellence, and in addition to excelling academically, she also enjoys theater, orchestra and choir at school. In fact, she hopes to have a career in the performing arts one day, either singing, acting or playing the violin.

But first, Graham must defend her title. As the GISD Spelling Bee winner, she will now compete in the Dallas County competition. Spelling bees are not her only claim to fame, however. She has also won poetry and short story contests at the Rowlett Public Library.

On Feb. 13, Graham was recognized by the GISD Board of Trustees with an Evidence of Excellence award. This honor happened on a very special day—her 14th birthday.