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Talented young wordsmith wins gold in Spanish spelling competition
A multilingual wordsmith from Enfield was the triumphant winner of the 2012 Foreign Language Spelling Bee held in Cambridge.
Year 7 student Stephanie Pilavakas from Highlands School in Winchmore Hill defeated 26,000 other students to become the National Foreign Language Spelling Bee champion.
Stephanie was encouraged by her school to study Spanish when their Year 7 class covered it as their foreign language.
Stephanie excelled at it and was entered into the National Competition which also tests students on German and French.
Carmen Edmett, the Spanish teacher at Highlands School described the effort the Year 7 students put in to conquer another language.
According to Ms Edmett, students Stephanie Pilavakas and Dennis Malinkski won the regional round of the Spelling Bee in March.
Both Highland students competed in the national competition last Friday, July 6.
She said the determination of both students is admirable and Stephanie, who was the only one in her year to get 100 per cent in a language assessment, is “a very good linguist."
Stephanie’s mother Foulla Pilavakas was ecstatic at her daughter’s success and said she is proud she was given the opportunity by Highlands School to show she can do it.
The Mayor of Cambridge Councillor Sheila Stuart was also in attendance at the Spelling Bee to hand out certificates, dictionaries and trophies.
The 26,000 young linguists had to spell the foreign words aloud and translate them.
The competition is sponsored by the European Commission and funded by the Higher Education funding Council for England.