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Gem of the Week: 13-year-old spelling whiz

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Crookston, MN (WDAZ-TV)

She's headed to the big stage in Washington D.C.

This is her second trip to the nation’s capital.

There's a lot of buzz in the hallways about one student at Crookston High, 8th grader Ainsley Boucher.

This spelling whiz is preparing for the national stage.

“I feel like it’s going good so far,” she commented.

The 13-year-old is getting ready to square off against  518 kids at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

She spends at least an hour studying each day.  

“I've been studying Greek and Latin roots because that's 80 percent of all of the words at the bee,” she explained.

 That routine sometimes includes practicing with the other 112 kids returning to the bee.

“They might know some words and study strategies I don't, and I might know some they don't and we help each other to do our best,” said Ainsley.

The goal this year, top last year's 41st place finish.

“Studying and persevering even though it can be hard and taking your time when you spell, you just don't want to rush through it,” she explained.

Don’t expect this usually shy teen to hide from the spotlight when it shines on her on the national stage.

“Spelling is like everything for me, because I get to go places and do things with it and you learn a lot of information from spelling,” Ainsley commented.  

She says no matter the outcome she's already won.

“It's not so much who wins and everything. The experience for me is over the competition,” she said.

The national spelling bee begins the day after Memorial Day.