By STAFF     5/31/2019

Eleven million students in the classroom across America started their journey to make it to the national spelling bee competition in Washington, D.C.  565 spellers made it to national.

Nicholas D’Sa, an eighth-grader at St. Cecilia Catholic School in Tustin, joined the competition in Washington, D.C. after winning the 56th annual Orange County Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Orange County Board of Education.

Three years ago, D’sa won his fifth-grade class Spelling Bee.  He moved on to participate in the OC Parenting Magazine Spelling Bee where he placed tenth. When he was in sixth grade, St. Cecilia School enrolled him in the Scripts National Spelling Bee for him to participate in the OC Spelling Bee.  He placed third.  When he was in seventh grade, he returned to the competition and placed third for the second time.

“This year I took the studying pretty seriously compare to the other years,” D’Sa said. He prepared for the spelling bee using lists and spelling mobile applications. Additionally, he learned language patterns to help him figure out the spelling of words he had not studied.

D’Sa studied two hours a day in preparation for this year’s spelling bee and won first place out of 100 participants in grades six through eight from public and private schools throughout Orange County. The Orange County Register sponsored his advancement to national where D’Sa competed with the other 565 talented spellers.

“Nicholas makes us so proud!,” said Dr. Erin Barisano, superintendent of Catholic schools.  At the competition, D’Sa successfully spelled alloeostropha, oeconomus, lobbygow, and huiscoyol. Yesterday, D’Sa was one of the 16 spellers advancing to the final round in the evening. D’Sa finished Round 7 in and placed 13th.

“Nicholas is a determined and diligent student.  He set his sights on this title in the fifth grade and never looked back.  His perseverance certainly paid off.  I am so proud of his accomplishments and know he will find success in whatever he chooses to do,” said the school’s 5th-grade teacher Stephanie Phillips.