ALICE, Texas — Jaxon Escobar was your typical fifth-grade Schallert Elementary School student. That is until he won the KRIS-TV South Texas Regional Spelling Bee, earning a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
According to his mother, he'll be the first National Spelling Bee participant from Alice Independent School District.
“When I was in third grade, I did my first spelling bee, and I got second. Ever since then, I've been trying to win,” the 11-year-old said.
“He has always had an incredible memory," Lori Canales said, Escobar's mother. "So, he’s always my go-to person when I forget something. I'm like Jaxon — and he’s quick to remind me what it was.”
For the last five months, Jaxon has been preparing and studying words for at least two to three hours a day or more.
“No one sees him more, sees him work as hard as we do here. And, it's just, I'm happy to see it paid off. This is what we’ve tried to show him since he was little. Set your goals, set them high, and once you reach those, set them higher and reach those,” said Canales.
To get here, he came out on top of his school Spelling Bee, and the Regional Spelling Bee.
"They called me. His teacher, they called him out of class, and then they called me. And then, him and I both cried together," said Canales.
The National Spelling Bee has given Escobar a packet of words from Merriam-Webster that could come up during the competition.
So, that's how he's been preparing. Reading every word, hearing its pronunciation, and studying the definition.
I quizzed him on Merriam-Webster's word of the day on Monday. He spelled "infantilize" with ease.
Jaxon was asked how he was feeling about heading to Maryland next month for the National Spelling Bee.
"Nervous, but so excited," said Jaxon Escobar.
Jaxon may have said he's nervous, but he exuded confidence.
"Anything he puts his mind to, he succeeds," Canales said.
Escobar will be the lone Coastal Bend representative at The Scripps National Spelling Bee from May 30 to June 1.
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