County spellers to compete in state spell-off

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Two top elementary school spellers will represent Colusa County on Saturday, May 11, in the California State Elementary Spelling Bee.

On March 5, over 60 people gathered for Colusa County Elementary Spelling Championship, hosted by the Colusa County Office of Education.  The spectators, along with nineteen fourth through sixth grade competitors, watched as the contest quickly progressed.  After nine rounds, Esteban Duran, a 5th grade student at Williams Upper Elementary School, and Ariana Avera, a 6th grade student at Egling Middle School, took first place and second place consecutively in the contest.

Colusa County Superintendent of Schools Michael West emceed the event and Colusa County Office of Education Director of Educational Services Lorilee Niesen was the “Spell Master” for the competition that advances Esteban and Ariana to the State Spelling Bee.  In addition to Mr. West and Ms. Niesen, an audience including family, friends, teachers, and principals were on hand to support the competitors.  At the end of the fast-paced event, “clairvoyant” was finally Ariana’s undoing, while Esteban took the first place title by correctly spelling “gymnasium.”

When asked about the competition, Michael West said “I am beyond proud!  Year after year, the Elementary Spelling Bee shows off our young students’ academic prowess, and this year was no different.”  He added, “My congratulations go out to Esteban and Ariana on their hard work and accomplishment.”

This will be both contestants’ first trip to the annual state contest held in Stockton.  All 58 counties in California are eligible to send two spellers to the state competition, hosted by the San Joaquin County Office of Education.  The public is invited to attend the state event at the Wentworth Education Center, 2707 Transworld Drive in Stockton. ■

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