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Kindergartner beats entire school to become spelling bee champ

A 6-year-old kindergartner in South Jordan, Utah managed to beat students years older than him to win his elementary school’s spelling bee. As reported by KWTX News 10, Kazim Ali survived round after round of Eastlake Elementary School’s spelling bee to emerge as the school’s champion and the first kindergartner ever in the Jordan School District to earn that honor. “I’m good at reading books, coloring,” Kazim said. “I’m in kindergarten, but I really need to go to first grade because um, kindergarten, I passed already.”

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Kazim Ali (KWTX/NDN)

Kazim Ali (KWTX/NDN)

The feat is quite impressive but when he was asked why he wanted to compete in the school’s spelling bee he revealed, “It is not my idea, that’s my mom’s idea.” Mothers do know best and her son’s spelling prowess is evident when the youngster is able to easily spell out difficult words like “anthropomorphic.” The definitions however are a bit harder. When Kazim is asked what it means, the little boy said, “Well, uh, I have no idea.” Still, Kazim’s father says that his son knows 600 words and there’s no doubt that list is growing.

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Cindy Tingy (KWTX/NDN)

Cindy Tingy (KWTX/NDN)

During the school competition Kazim competed against students from every grade. “There was first grade, second grade, third grade and kindergarten. That’s me,” Kazim explained. “I’m only the one that’s the youngest.” Cindy Tingey, Eastlake’s assistant principal, who has been an educator for 22 years said, “I’ve never even heard of a kindergartner making it past the first round.”

The first round started with the word “tag,” something Kazim said was, “Yeah, so easy.” Then as each round passed, more children were eliminated. Kazim recalled that at the end, “It was only me and a third grader.” That student received a big word that she misspelled then it was Kazim’s turn, but not before he gave a quick wave to his fans. “She made a word wrong and my winning word was actually “sapphire” and I did it,” said Kazim.

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Kazim Ali wins the spelling bee on the word 'sapphire.' (KWTX/NDN)

Kazim Ali wins the spelling bee on the word 'sapphire.' (KWTX/NDN)

The big win turned Kazim into quite the man at Eastlake Elementary. “Almost the whole school knows me,” said the champion. “If you win the spelling bee everybody in your school knows you.” To all those who are wondering what Kazim’s secret to success may be, he says simply, “I learned the most words than anyone in that spelling bee, that’s how I won.” "It was amazingly cool," said Assistant Principal Tingey. "He’s not only a great speller, he's just a cute kid."

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Kazim Ali's spelling bee certificate and medal. (KWTX/NDN)

Kazim Ali's spelling bee certificate and medal. (KWTX/NDN)

What’s next for young Kazim? He says that he wants to compete to be the national spelling bee champion, and he is aware that, “Yeah, but it will be very hard.” The rewards, however, are great. Kazim isn’t too shy to admit with a big smile, that he wants to win, “Because you get a lot of money…and a big trophy.”

Video and more info: KWTX/NDN

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