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Harmony Science Academy’s Mascorro wins RGV Spelling Bee

March 5, 2017 GMT

WESLACO — A transept, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, is the “part of a cruciform church that crosses at right angles to the greatest length between the nave and the apse or choir.”

Its origin is New Latin, and its first known use is circa 1542.

It’s also the word Melanie Mascorro spelled correctly to win the 29th annual RGV Regional Spelling Bee, held Saturday at SouthTexasCollege’s Mid-Valley Campus.

With her victory, Mascorro, from HarmonyScienceAcademy in Brownsville, advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion. The national competition will take place from May 27 to June 2, and Mascorro will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the contest by AIM Media, which was the sponsor of the event and includes The Brownsville Herald, The Monitor and Valley Morning Star.

“I felt really nervous at first, but my whole family had told me to take deep breaths and that helped me a lot.” Mascorro said. “At the end, I felt very confident about myself.”

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After winning the trophy, she stated she, “felt awesome and couldn’t believe it at first.”

“And can’t find the words” she said about going to D.C.

Two participants placed second, Roxanna Ortiz of IncarnateWordAcademy in Brownsville and Darius Haft of Hinojosa Elementary in Sharyland ISD.

Ortiz, 12, who has advanced to the regional event for three years, began with the spelling bee at her school in third grade.

“I was nervous because I hadn’t really studied.” Ortiz said. “It feels awesome being placed, I never placed before.”

“I am very proud of her, it was so close — nerve-wracking,” said her mother, Leandra.

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com