Say "hola" to the newest winner of the Osakis Public School spelling bee — sixth grader Brooke Kleinschmidt.
Brooke was one of 19 spelling bee participants from Grades 5-8, and "hola" was her winning word in the 18th round, said teacher Melanie Stier.
"Hola" is a Spanish word for "hello," and Stier said she has already received questions about why it was included in the spelling bee. The school gets its list of spelling words from Scripps Spelling.
"The difficulty varies and can include proper nouns as well," she said. "I'm not sure their logic in including a Spanish word, but it's out of our control."
According to Courtney Lewis Burton, manager of external communications for Scripps Spelling, "hola" is listed in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged dictionary, which is the official source for the spelling words used at all levels of its competition.
"Hola is an example of a word English has borrowed from another language, one of thousands from many languages," Burton said.
The spelling bee was held Monday, Nov. 22.
Brooke will now take an exam to see if she qualifies for the Regional Spelling Bee in February in Fergus Falls, Stier said.