COTTONDALE, Fla That probably won't be the word a Jackson County student gets when she competes in the upcoming national spelling bee. But, the word definitely describes Summer Hayes.
14 year old Summer Hayes has become the resident dictionary of Cottondale high school. "When they need a word, they come up to my desk. It happens about 10 times every class."
Albert Nix is Summer’s Language Arts Teacher. “She never makes less than 100 on her spelling tests- knows all the words- she's kind of a walking dictionary"
And now, Summer has the hardware to prove it-she just claimed the top trophy at the Tallahassee Regional Spelling Bee. "My winning word was dressage."
In May, Hayes is headed to the Scripps National Spelling Bee outside of Washington, D-C.
"It still hasn't quite sunk in yet!". But what is sinking in are the words.
She practices everyday by reading the dictionary. My Grandma and I sit in the kitchen or the living room in between hanging out or while she’s cooking dinner and for like, an hour and a half she'd call out words"
Albert Nix says his student’s performance is excellent. "For being a small community, in anything, you know we went to state championships in basketball and different sports. Academics to me is just as, to me more important than sports and I'm a big sports fan. But watching her at regionals, my heart was pounding more than any basketball game or state championship I ever went to."
Nix says he'll be in the crowd cheering Summer on once again come May. "We're going to try to make some face signs like they do at basketball games becasue you can't have any signs with words on them"
And he may have to use that face sign as a fan because Hayes says if she wins the national title, she'll
Summer says she wants to be an Investigative Journalist.