Spelling Bee winners win big

By Jeannie Lopez

On Feb. 24, 134 spellers ranging from fourth to eighth grade came from 68 schools to participate in the annual Tulare County Spelling Championship.

They came across the county to show off their spelling skills. To be a part of the County Spelling Bee, students first had to win their own individual school Spelling Bee. The student then studied from a list given to them with 2000 words.

All students who competed in the Tulare County Spelling Bee Championship received a Certificate of Spelling Achievement and a Tulare County Spelling Championship 2005 T-shirt.

First Place winner received a one-week trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Spelling Bee Sunday, May 29 through Friday, June 3, a Webster's Third New International Dictionary, the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, a $100 Series E.E. U.S. Savings Bond and from Scripps Howard a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate.

Second place won a Merrian-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, from Scripps Howard a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate and a second place trophy.

Third place won a student dictionary from Staples and a third place trophy. The top spellers in the final rounds also, got a student dictionary from Staples. The prizes totaled more than $4,000.

Alisa Carstens and Amanda McElrath from Rocky Hill School in Exeter made it to the fourth round before being eliminated.

Other foothills participants were:

Rodrigo Alcantar from Woodville Elementary, Cynthia Ayala from Strathmore Elementary, Meghan Chastain from Sunnyside Union Elementary, Rachel Coles from Dayspring School, Tanna Doyel from Zion Lutheran, Jesse East from Woodlake Valley Middle School, Courtney Hoover from Springville Union Elementary, Samantha King from Strathmore Middle School, Daniel Mueller from Zion Lutheran, Katie Mueller from Springville Union Elementary, Stephanie Navarrete from Terra Bella Elementary, Ahsaki Para-Castro from Jefferson Elementary, Karina Llamas from Woodlake Valley Middle School, Christopher Ramirez from Strathmore Elementary, Crystal Ramos from Sunnyside Union Elementary, Larisa Reed from Strathmore Middle School, Jennifer Robison from Ivanhoe School, Alberto Robles from Ivanhoe School, Jazmin Suarez from Terra Bell, and Wendy Suarez from Terra Bella.

The winner of the Spelling Bee was fifth grader Evan Lawler who attends Garden Elementary of Tulare. Lawler won the Bee by correctly spelling the word "femur" after beating out the other 133 students in the competition.

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