HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A 5th grader has reason to celebrate after winning the Hinds County spelling bee.

For Raines Elementary student Ashlynn McClinton, winning the spelling bee was a surreal experience after successfully spelling the word “ramifications.”

“It’s kind of nerve wracking because a lot of people were watching me, and I was kind of scared. But I had courage, so I wasn’t that scared,” she said.

She made it through 13 rounds. With the help of those around her, McClinton was gifted with more than just the tools to spell words correctly. She also had the courage to get on stage.

“She was studying every night before dinner and in the morning times. If I saw her in the hallway, I made sure to encourage her. I told the teachers that she was in a spelling bee so that they can encourage her, basically boost her up, build her confidence so she’ll be ready and prepared,” said Crystal Monger, coordinator of the spelling bee.

The principal of the school said success comes when teachers and students are given the tools to succeed.

“Has put out a lot of good strategies with reading and the literacy department, and our teachers use those every day. Our Office of Teaching and Learning is to emphasizes those strategies, and the teachers have been using those. Those strategies represent the five components of reading in spelling. They use a lot of fun, a large core awareness, a lot of phonics and word structure. Ashlynn was able to use those the strategies that she had learned in order to help her,” said Dina Owens, principal of Raines Elementary School.

The state level spelling bee will be in Columbus, Mississippi, on March 3 and 4.