SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A seventh-grader from Notre Dame Academy in Carmel Valley is competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland this week. 

Ella Peters and 284 other spellers took a 26 question multiple-choice spelling and vocabulary test on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they will take the stage to spell two words. Contestants who correctly spell the first word will advance to the third round. 

RELATED: Teen wins San Diego Union-Tribune spelling bee with "phlegm"

CBS News 8 spoke with Ella on Skype about what she's doing to prepare: "Lately, I've been actually trying to spell the words that people got out on in previous spelling bees and that's actually helping a lot, just with memorizing little patterns," said Ella. 

Ella qualified for the National Spelling Bee by winning the San Diego County Spelling Bee. Her final word was phlegm.