TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's been quite the week for 14-year-old Emma Brookshire. An 8th grader at Grace Community School in Tyler, Brookshire and her classmates graduate Friday morning from junior high. This particular teenager, however, has a very special gift...she can spell.
"It was very nerve racking, but it was exciting, and I was just glad to be there," Brookshire said.
After competing in districts and then regionals, Brookshire qualified for the Association of Christian Schools International, or ACSI, National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. Her first word was "reclamation".
"I don't know what it means," she said.
"You just know how to spell it, right," I laughed.
"Yes," she replied.
"I had galleon, and I wasn't sure about that," she said. "It's short, g-a-l-l-e-o-n, but I wasn't sure if it was an 'I', or and 'E'."
Brookshire spelled one word correct after the other, beating out 44 people until there were just two spellers left. What was her final word?
"It was ciceroni," she said. "I put an 'I' right here, instead of an 'E'."
"Have you ever heard that word before," I asked her.
"No," she replied. "I thought it was pepperoni."
Sounds good to me, and so does finishing 2nd place.
"It was exciting, and I was the first person from Grace," she said.
And Brookshire had some advice for future spellers.
"Study and pay attention to something you have never heard before because if you do spelling bees you could get it," she said.
Saturday, the day of the spelling bee, was also Brookshire's birthday. She says she would like to be a ballerina or horseback rider when she grows up.