Ashlie Malone, an eighth-grade student at Julia Landon College Preparatory, took home the gold in Thursday night's Duval County Spelling Bee.
After 28 rounds of spelling challenging vocabulary words, Ashlie finished first by correctly spelling the word "desperado."
This marks Ashlie's second time winning the Duval County Spelling Bee. She also won in 2011 as a sixth-grader at Landon.
Ashlie will represent Duval County as she advances to the 69th annual Florida Times-Union Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 23 at the Jacksonville Main Public Library. She will compete against district winners from 14 neighboring counties. The winner of the regional bee will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee during the week of May 26 to June 1.
Landon College Preparatory's Principal Sara Bravo attended the spelling bee to cheer Ashlie on during the competition. She was amazed by Ashlie's poise and confidence through each round of the spelling bee.
"Ashlie is an exceptional student, always pushing herself to a high level of success," Bravo said. "She has maintained a 4.0 GPA through her three years at Julia Landon, yet remains one of the most humble and kind students in our building. I am so proud to be her principal."
The Duval County Spelling Bee is sponsored by The Florida Times-Union, and is conducted according to the contest rules of the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee.