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Deer Valley Elementary 5th Grader Naanya Kana Wins District Spelling Bee

January 12, 2022


(Hoover, AL) - Enzyme: E-n-z-y-m-e. That was the championship word spelled correctly by Naanya Kana, a 5th-grade student at Deer Valley Elementary School. The 10-year-old won the Hoover City Schools (HCS) District 2022 Spelling Bee held on Tuesday, January 11 at Spain Park High School. Luke Hertz, a 5th grader at Bluff Park Elementary School, won second place and made it to the 15th round in the competition. 

“I felt great after winning the Bee! This was a really tough competition,” said Kana.  “All the spellers were well prepared and did an outstanding job! The fact that all of us won from our schools means that this was going to be a tough competition. To be honest, I felt like the Bee would go on forever!“

The Spelling Bee lasted a total of 15 rounds and 13 students participated. Ten HCS elementary schools were represented, along with the three middle schools. The second time was a charm for Kana because she made it to the District Spelling Bee last year but was eliminated.

Kana said, “I was glad I won because last year I could have won but I missed a spelling as the word had a different pronunciation than I remembered. I was glad to know that my hard work paid off. I was also overjoyed to see my parents were happy as well!”

Kana says this year, the hardest word for her to spell was the word “sedge” which is defined as “a grasslike plant with triangular stems and inconspicuous flowers, growing typically in wet ground.”

I was really confused on how to spell it because I mixed it up with some of the other words,” said Kana.  “In the end, I took my best guess and was satisfied when I got it right!”

Kana will now have an opportunity to represent HCS in the Jefferson County Spelling Bee on Monday, February 7, 2022.