Outside of Michel Middle School in Biloxi, you'll find a slogan that reads "tomorrow's leaders begin here."
Well, inside, we found one of those future leaders - seventh grade student Rohit Reddy of Biloxi.
On Thursday, the 11-year-old won the state spelling bee competition in Jackson by correctly spelling the words "dulcinea," which means sweetheart, and "endostracum," meaning the inner layer of a shell.
What's even more amazing is he learned he was in the competition only two days before.
After Katrina hit, all of the school canceled their spelling bees for the year. Since the state bee was coming up, school officials decided to allow Rohit to participate.
"Since I won state last year, well, I won second in the state, they let me represent Harrison County," said Reddy.
Now, this baseball player, student council member, and avid reader has to prepare for spelling in the big leagues.
"For the state bee, they gave me a list to study for it. But for the national, they don't give a list, so I guess I just have to study the dictionary," said Reddy
Reddy says he'll also use his parents' advice to stay calm and remain focused.
Rohit, who is the son of Uma and Sunil Reddy, will represent Mississippi in the 79th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee May 29th-June 2nd in Washington, D.C.