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February 3, 2010 > Sunol Glen School holds first Scripps Spelling Bee

Sunol Glen School holds first Scripps Spelling Bee

By Alyson Whitaker
Photos By Alyson Whitaker

Spelling is one of those academic subjects that can't be avoided. Students across the country in schools small and large are given weekly spelling and vocabulary assignments aimed to assist them in meeting the state education standards in language arts. Finding a way to make spelling fun and exciting is a challenge for teachers everywhere.

On January 27 Sunol Glen School held its first annual Spelling Bee, officially part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee program. The goal of the National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

Parent volunteer Jenny Huang was a key in bringing the event to Sunol Glen. After seeing an online article about the National Spelling Bee, Jenny approached Principal/Superintendent Molleen Barnes about bringing the Bee to Sunol Glen. Jenny was thrilled to get the go-ahead to put on the event, and support from the staff and teachers has been enthusiastic. "It's great to see the kids so excited about academics and to see spelling becoming cool."

All students received a complete study packet before the holiday break. Each grade, first through eighth, held a class Bee the second week of January. Winners from all grades received a medal and certificate of achievement, and the top three spellers in grades 4 through 8 went on to compete in the school wide Bee on January 27. The evening event was held in the school auditorium with parents, teachers, and classmates in the audience to show support for the participants.

One by one, students were eliminated from the competition, until just two of the fifteen finalists were left standing on stage. Both fifth graders, classmates Kerouac Diamond and Nina Myers took turns spelling words through several rounds. In the end, Nina Myers emerged the winner, after correctly spelling the word 'expectant.' Nina will go on to compete at the regional level later this year. The regional winner will go on to compete against top spellers from the entire state of California, with the state winner then proceeding to the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

Principal/Superintendent Molleen Barnes was thrilled with the overwhelming positive response to the Bee. "Spelling is an important communication skill which serves all areas of life. For students to have the opportunity to build their skills in a fun, competitive way has built a lot of excitement on campus. I'm excited for this to become an annual event!"

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