Natania Fernandez, winner of the NDA spelling bee, with James Flynn, assistant head of school, and Vittoria Pacifico, head of school.

TYNGSBORO – Natania Fernandez of Dracut, a fifth-grader at the Academy of Notre Dame, will compete in the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee on Tuesday, March 24, at Lynn Memorial Auditorium.

After surviving 22 rounds of competition at NDA, Natania than had to take a placement exam administered by school officials. She placed fifth in the administered exam.

“We are so proud and excited for Natania,” said Vittoria Pacifico, NDA Head of School. “To compete at this level as a fifth-grader is remarkable, and the entire school community is 100 percent behind her. Providing our students with outside opportunities to flex their intellectual muscle is part of our school’s culture and commitment to provide all students with real life, hands-on learning opportunities.”

Fernandez was named the NDA Spelling Bee champion after she successfully spelled the word “thermohaline,” which means involving or dependent upon the conjoint effect of temperature and salinity.

“I feel really excited for the Regional Spelling Bee, and I really hope I do well,” Natania said. “I’m a little bit nervous because I’m going to be competing against a lot of other kids who passed their spelling bees at their schools. I feel mostly excited.”

The Scripps National Spelling Bee estimates that 11 million students participate in the program across the country. Spellers represent more than 25,000 enrolled schools in every state in the U.S., several U.S. territories and several other countries. Winners of the regional events will advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled for May 26-28 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.