ANCHORAGE -

While Turnagain Elementary School has its share of good spellers, one second grader at the Russian Immersion program is turning heads with his abilities -- Sayeed Orion Mahmood, who is a star in more ways than one.

Even though Mahmood celebrated his eighth birthday with some sweet tunes at Turnagain Friday, it's his words that are helping him in the classroom.

Mahmood is learning to be proficient in writing, reading, and speaking Russian -- but he also knows a thing or two about English-language spelling bees. After beating the Channel 2 Morning Edition crew in a battle of words on Valentine's Day, three months later Sayeed is once again taking people to school.

Mahmood credits his vocabulary to his mom and staff at Turnagain.

"They teach us Russian here, and all of the teachers are very great," Mahmood said.

Sayeed has shown interest in the solar system and outer space, and says he wants to be an astronomer and teach others one day.

According to him, his road to success starts with his studies -- and just like any good student, a focus on organization and details.

Among the many books that helped him to learn how to spell better, Mahmood says "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and "Big Nate" are his favorites.