Willow Bend Student Qualifies for National Spelling Bee

On November 14, a dozen elementary and middle school students across Lubbock competed in the Lubbock Spanish Spelling Bee Championship hosted virtually by Texas Tech University’s Sigma Delta Pi, a collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. Four of those students represented Frenship including Willow Bend fifth graders Sara Patino and Jesus Paredes and Terra Vista Middle School sixth graders Alma Diaz-Perez and Edwin Reyes Villanueva.

After six intense rounds, Patino came out on top as the over-all winner of the Lubbock championship. Her Willow Bend classmate, Paredes, followed closely coming in at third. Patino and the runner-up, a Lubbock ISD elementary student, will now represent the Lubbock area in the nationals.

“I am so proud of our dual language students and their willingness to adapt to compete virtually. All our Frenship tigers did so well and were very well prepared,” said Senon Cruz, Frenship’s ESL and Bilingual Coordinator. “Kuddos to their coaches Mr. Nuñez and Ms. Barragan who worked very hard in preparing our students to compete on the big stage.”

Patino is the third student in Frenship’s history to advance to the national competition. Her win over the weekend also marks the second consecutive year Willow Bend had a student qualify for nationals.

“It is so evident that our dual language teachers teach with all their heart and passion. They seek perfection…capture excellence,” Cruz said. Over the next several months, Patino will continue to practice and study to head-to-head against students from across the nation in July.