Katy-area student to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 5/25/22

Perhaps the only thing better than winning a national spelling bee is to win it in two languages. Kirsten Santos, a sixth-grade student at International Leadership of Katy, a charter school, will soon have the chance to achieve that goal.

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Katy-area student to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee

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Perhaps the only thing better than winning a national spelling bee is to win it in two languages. Kirsten Santos, a sixth-grade student at International Leadership of Katy, a charter school, will soon have the chance to achieve that goal.

Santos in 2019 won the National Spanish Spelling Bee, held in Denver. In 2020, she appeared on the NBC television program Little Big Shots. More recently, she won the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee, which qualifies her for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, to be held May 31-June 2 in Washington, D.C.

Santos works hard to master her words. She said she studies six hours a day, every day. She said she hopes to be neurosurgeon one day.

Margarett Donaldson is one of Santos’s teachers. She described Santos as an amazing student.

“She is an amazing leader,” Donaldson said. “She’s a motivator. She is always willing to help teachers and students. She’s just an inspiration. She gave a really great speech at our May 20 honors banquet.”

In that speech, Santos said, “Every successful story begins with a dream, but it is up to you if you want to put in the effort to make it happen.”

Donaldson said everyone at the school is cheering for Kirsten.

“It’s always been a dream for her,” Donaldson said. “We’re all very excited for her.”

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