First Detroit Public Schools student heading to Scripps National Spelling Bee

Posted at 6:58 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 23:17:55-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Almost 600 kids from around the country are heading to Washington D.C. for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Now, for the first time ever, a student from the Detroit Public Schools Community District will be one of the student competitors.

Zaara Noor won her first spelling bee back when she was in kindergarten, now she's heading to the Scripps Nationals as a seventh grader.

"It's amazing," Noor said. "Like I don't even believe it... that I'm the first DPS student to go to nationals."

Noor says she's so excited about competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, she thinks about it all the time – even in her sleep.

"I dream about it," she said.

The 12-year-old is a student at Davison Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. Back in March, Frank Salzeider, a student at University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, won first place at regionals. Noor was runner up.

However, when she and her teacher, Mrs. Pizzo, found out they could apply for a second chance at nationals, that's exactly what they did.

Now Noor is the first student ever to get to nationals from the Detroit Public School Community District. Noor says she's been studying five to six hours a day. Mrs. Pizzo, who has been teaching for 23 years, isn't surprised. She says Noor is dedicated and determined.

"(She's) one of the hardest working young ladies I have ever known in my career, period," Pizzo said. "I can honestly say that."

Noor hopes one day to be a brain surgeon but for now she's focused on nationals and is full of gratitude for everyone who has helped her get this far, including her family, Mrs. Pizzo and the district.

"I'm really grateful for it," Noor said. "It's just really meaningful to me and I thank them for that."

Noor and her teacher Mrs. Pizzo will head to Washington D.C. on Sunday. Finals begin on Thursday.