SAN JACINTO – San Jacinto Unified School District held their annual district spelling bee Jan. 30, in preparation of sending a champion to the Riverside County spelling bee, March 24, at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center. Temo “Ethan” Mendez, a fifth grader at SJUSD’s Hyatt World Language Academy, was the final winner out of 16 contestants with the correct spelling at the 17th round.
The county-level spelling bee is open to students fourth through eighth grades, and a winner progresses to the Scripps National Spelling Bee held outside of Washington in May.
SJUSD’s second-place winner, Max Corum, a fourth grader at Hyatt World Language Academy, will serve as the district alternate for the county-level contest. SJUSD’s third-place winner was Jayda Bass, a fifth grader at Park Hill Elementary.
SJUSD’s Bee Master Renee Carbajal, an assistant principal at Record Elementary during the regular workday, said she was impressed with the conduct of the contestants and the support from families.
“We know that the students had all practiced and they demonstrated good sportsmanship when they missed their word,” Carbajal said.
This year’s spelling bee project manager was Patty Luna from the district’s curriculum, instruction and assessment department. She ensured the atmosphere was festive, and the judging panel was ready for the annual event.
“SJUSD has a long tradition of conducting spelling bees at the elementary and middle school sites, and then finishing with a district-level spelling bee that is memorable for all the contestants,” Luna said.
Luna also ensured each student prepared an autobiographical sketch posted at the event.
“My favorite subject is math, and I also enjoy reading thriller and mystery books,” Temo said in his sketch. “When I am older, I would like to be a robotics engineer.”
Submitted by San Jacinto Unified School District.