AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Tashon Walker was on the edge of her seat January 30, watching her fifth-grader Lauren compete in the Richmond County Elementary Spelling Bee.
"I was knitting like crazy, just trying to stay focused," Walker said. "[I was] holding my breath."
And then, the 10-year-old won. Cheers erupted and Lauren was given her title - Richmond County Elementary Spelling Bee Champ. But this wasn't her first time winning a bee.
"She won last year, 2013-2014," said Miranda Shuman, Lauren's fifth-grade teacher at Lake Forest Hills Elementary.
But Shuman, along with Lauren's family and friends, said she's as much of a champion off stage as she is on it.
"She motivates everyone around her," Shuman said. "She's basically what every teacher wants all of the time."
Still, Lauren didn't win two years in a row without a lot of hard work and a plan. Mom and dad said she practiced at home and whenever she had a break at school.
"The first thing I do is I pronounce the word in Siri, so I can look at the word the way it's pronounced," Lauren said. "I repeat it several times before I learn it and can spell it correctly."
Dad said he never has to push her to study; she's self-motivated. But he sees this as a lesson in much more than spelling.
"I always see it as something fun and an opportunity, instead of being stressful," Willie Walker Jr. said. "Sometimes, you're not always going to win, but as long as you compete well and have fun, I think that's very important."