The 2018-19 Stanislaus County Junior High Spelling Championship was held on Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Martin G. Petersen Event Center, sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE). Cardozo Middle School seventh graders Kaydon Brawley and Alyssa Fowler competed in the countywide Spelling Bee and were silver medal winners.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Alyssa Fowler and Kaydon Brawley for their determination and willingness to challenge themselves and the other top spellers in Stanislaus County,” said Cardozo Principal Kevin Bizzini. “Alyssa and Kaydon both are students that set very high goals for themselves and their self-confidence to compete on a larger stage is reflective of the type of students they are. Both are seventh graders, so watch out next year when they turn silver to gold.”
There were 21 volunteers along with Scott Kuykendall, Stanislaus County Superintendent-elect that served as proctors. With 31 students from 21 schools within Stanislaus County competing, Fowler and Brawley had stiff competition.
“The annual county Spelling Bee is a great opportunity for Cardozo Middle School to showcase our students,” added Bizzini. “I am appreciative of the CMS students that commit to this challenge each year. They and their advisers sacrifice personal time to prepare for the event and take pride in representing our school.”
Although technology seems to have made the English language less formal using acronyms and shortening words especially when texting, Fowler and Brawley explained that it is still important to have good grammar and a good vocabulary. They were both excited to participate in the competition and put in the work to do well.
“I feel that you shouldn’t really shorten the words down because if you do that for too long it will decrease your vocabulary,” explained Brawley. “All the texts that I have texted my friends and stuff, it has always been complete sentences with periods and capitalization and stuff because I want to keep my good vocabulary and grammar up.”
Stanislaus County will be represented at the State Championship in San Rafael on May 4, 2019 by students from Turlock Junior High and Prescott Junior High.
“For our students the importance of the Spelling Bee goes far beyond the ability to spell words correctly,” stated Bizzini. “The Spelling Bee and other county sponsored events provide Riverbank students opportunities to have academic experiences outside of the classroom. They promote the 21st century skills that Riverbank schools are dedicated to instill in our students. The enthusiasm and self-confidence students gain from these competitive experiences go a long way in developing their desire to learn.”
Cardozo students not only participated in the Spelling Bee but by the end of the school year, they will also have competed in the Science Olympiad and Robotics competition hosted at the Google campus in Sunnyvale which, according to Bizzini, will be experiences they will most likely remember into adulthood.