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RLA Top Spellers Receive Medals
RLA Spellers
Riverbank Language Academy has some standout students that medaled in recent spelling competitions, from left, Alejandro Osmundson, Noeli Jimenez, Ysceli Plascencia, and Adilene Murguia. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

Riverbank Language Academy (RLA) had some top spellers at the Stanislaus County Junior High Spelling Championship that received gold and silver medals in the competition. RLA seventh grader Adilene Murguia earned top honors with a gold medal and eighth grader Ysceli Plascencia got silver.

Although it was not Murguia’s idea to compete but more of a notion from her mother, she did make it all the way to the finals.

“It feels good because I got a certificate and everything and I got a medal,” remarked Murguia. “I did lose but I did have fun with the experience. Getting cupcakes was my favorite part. I would compete again if it means getting cupcakes, definitely.”

The competition is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education for students in seventh and eighth grades. The Qualifying Round was held virtually and the top spellers then advanced to the Competition Round that was held on Dec. 8 at the Martin G. Petersen Event Center in Modesto. The Spelling Master was Chris Dempsey, a La Loma Junior High School educator. Each school had volunteers that served as proctors.

There were 14 schools in Stanislaus County that participated in the Junior High Spelling Championship including RLA, Oakdale, Turlock, and Prescott.

There were two other students that received silver medals in another spelling competition, fifth grader Alejandro Osmundson and sixth grader Noeli Jimenez.

Osmundson shared that he did not have time to practice but feels pretty good about getting a silver medal.

“It was kind of like it made me really nervous but being there it felt fun just to have the opportunity to be there,” added Jimenez. “We spelled adolescence and stuff like that. It was fun just being there.”

With favorite subjects like Spanish and History, Plascencia said that she has competed before and would do so again.

“I just felt like winning something,” noted Plascencia about partaking in the competition. “It was hard. My favorite part was just being there.”

The top two spelling champions were Vangogh Tran from Turlock Junior High and Deetya Thogarucheeti from Prescott Junior High in the Junior High Spelling Championship. The third place speller was Sabrina Toor, also from Prescott Junior High.