The 2018-19 Stanislaus County Spelling Championship is underway with the Elementary Championship staged last week on Nov. 7 and the Junior High competition scheduled for this week. The junior high event will be on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. at the Petersen Event Center, 720 12th St., Modesto.
Riverbank Unified School District (RUSD) had several schools competing in both contests including Cardozo Middle School, Mesa Verde Elementary and California Avenue Elementary. The spelling championship is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education.
The Elementary Spelling Championship included fourth through sixth grades and was hosted at Enochs High School. California Avenue Elementary fifth grader Katie Alvarez was a gold medal winner that made it to the second round of the competition.
“She (Alvarez) did not win it, but making it to the second round is exciting because half the students are eliminated in the first round,” stated fourth grade teacher Tina Hansen. “There were approximately 77 students participating from different Stanislaus County schools.”
Mesa Verde Elementary fifth grader Nicholas Pereira and Riverbank Language Academy sixth graders Alexis Lopez and Emma Tran were silver medal winners. Andres Aguiniga, a sixth grader from Cardozo Middle School was that school’s junior high bee representative.
The top two spellers in the Elementary Spelling Championship will represent Stanislaus County at the state competition in Stockton on May 11, 2019.
Representing Cardozo Middle School at the Junior High Spelling Championship will be top spellers Alyssa Fowler, Kaydon Brawley and Alan Ix. The top two spellers of the County Championship will represent Stanislaus County at the state competition and the third place speller will serve as the alternate. There are several schools in the county that participate.
All three seventh graders have been preparing for the competition by practicing saying the words, writing the words and using the words in a sentence.
Although Fowler is a little bit nervous she does study quite often and really enjoys how words have different pronunciations compared to the way they are spelled. Her favorite subject is math and she has plans for a higher education after high school.
“I volunteered because I really had a very good passion of spelling words,” stated Brawley. “I have a fun time pronouncing them. I am kind of excited and nervous because this is my first spelling bee. I am really excited to do that and I am nervous because there will be a lot of people watching and also because I don’t want to disappoint my parents.”
“I volunteered because I overall wanted to increase my vocabulary,” said Ix. “Studying these words is not only going to help me with spelling and my vocabulary but it is also going to help me with my writing. I am nervous because there are plenty of school sites competing in the competition. I think I am excited to go and have this experience of competing with spelling.”
The event is open to the public and will begin at 5 p.m. in Modesto.