Seventeen-year-old Grace Walters cannot shoo off the spelling bee bug. She is an accomplished coach.
Most recently, she coached three of the eight 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee winners.
“I never ever pictured myself being there, let alone standing on that stage with champions. It’s truly incredible how life works out,” Walters said.
She also coached last year’s champion and the runner-up for the year before.
Walters got into spelling in third grade. She never made it to the national level, but, instead, she turned her skills into teaching others.
“I never envisioned myself making it here,” Walters said.
Her family could not be more proud.
“We never would’ve dreamed of this,” said Walters’ mother, Pamela Walters. “Sometimes, we laugh about if we had told her eighth-grade self that she would be coaching champions, how would we ever believe that?”
Walters is heading to Georgetown University in the fall to study linguistics. She plans to continue to coach.
“The kids keep me sane!” Grace said.
She is also hopeful for another round of spelling bee winners.
“Work hard. If you work hard and believe in yourself anything is possible,” she said.