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Long Beach Seventh Grader Advances to National Spelling Bee

Dina Miranda becomes the first student from the Long Beach Unified School District to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

On Sunday, Mar. 4, Stanford Middle School seventh grader Dina Miranda won the Los Angeles County Scripps Regional Spelling Bee, advancing her to the Scripps National Spelling Bee that will occur in Washington D.C. in May.

This was Dina’s fifth consecutive trip to the regionals, previously placing second, third, fifth and seventh before winning this past weekend. Her winning word, “grivoiserie,” propelled her to the national tournament where she will compete with over 200 participants from around the United States.

When asked if she ever heard the word “grivoiserie,” her answer didn’t lack confidence.

“I’ve never heard that word before actually,” Dina said. “But I was certain I got it right.”

Dina is the first student ever to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee from the Long Beach Unified School District. Dina came out on top over 150 other competitors from public and private schools in the Los Angeles county area. Experience and maturity seem to be the deciding factor that got her through the regional tournament this year.

“The first couple years I was really nervous,” Dina said. “As the years went on, I went to have fun.”

The regional tournament took over nine hours before Dina took home the title. According to Dina’s mother Malu Miranda, it was down to only three families in the audience when it was all said and done.

“It was just us and a few other families left in the audience cheering for our kids when it was their turn,” Malu said.

After all the patience and perseverance Dina has shown throughout her spelling bee career, she wanted to thank someone very special to her — her English teacher Ms. Thai.

“She brought the spelling bee back because they didn’t have it last year,” Dina said. “[She gave] us a chance to make it to the national bee.”

The classroom spelling bee at Stanford Middle School had been inactive for the last few years for undisclosed reasons. Ms. Thai was at the forefront of bringing it back, and because of her dedication, Dina is on her way to Washington D.C. to compete on the national stage.

The 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee and “Bee Week” will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland from May 27 to June 1. Dina knows the competition is going to be stiff, but she is excited for the challenge.

“There are a lot more words to review and it’s going to be more competitive,” Dina said. “I heard there is a parade for the winner.”

Fans can cheer Dina on through ESPN’s livestream of the opening and final rounds May 27 to June 1.


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