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Young Riverbank Spellers Medal At County Event

Although texting has made it possible to be extremely lackadaisical when it comes to the spelling of words, schools throughout the county are still trying to keep students sharp in the areas of spelling and grammar. The 2019-2020 Stanislaus County Elementary Spelling Championship was last week and was sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education and the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County.

Riverbank Unified School District was represented by fourth grader, Santiago Garnica from California Avenue Elementary and fifth grader Alex Pereira and fourth grader Olivia Richey from Mesa Verde Elementary. Garnica and Pereira both made it to the second round which earned them a gold medal and Richey earned herself a silver medal.

California Avenue Elementary fifth grade teacher Vivian Wilson was a proctor at the event last week.

“He (Garnica) said he was a little nervous,” Wilson explained. “I reassured him and reminded him that he would do great. Afterward, he said that he was proud that he made it into the second round as a fourth grader. I told him that next year he will go even further.”

Wilson shared that his family was there to support him including his sister Katie Alvarez who represented California Avenue Elementary last year.

With matching Spelling Bee shirts Mesa Verde Elementary Resource Specialist Lisa Napoli along with Richey and Pereira made their way to the competition that day.

“Olivia and Alex did a great job,” said Napoli. “They were nervous at the start, but had a great time. They were really excited when they were called for their medals at the awards ceremony.”

The event was hosted at Enochs High School in Modesto on Oct. 30. The Spelling Master this year was Chris Dempsey an educator from La Loma Junior High School. SCOE added that there were 40 volunteers that served as proctors and 77 students from 48 schools participated in the event. Both students that received first place were sixth graders with one from Our Lady of Fatima and Walnut Elementary and a fifth grader from Lakewood will be the alternate. They will represent the county at the State Championship at San Joaquin Office of Education in Stockton on May 9, 2020.