On Saturday, February 27th, over 350 proud family members, supporters and principals filled the gym room at the San Benancio Middle School. The Lyceum celebrated its 32nd Annual Monterey County Spelling Bee for 4th and 5th Graders.
Registration began at 9am, although many eager students arrived much earlier. Music such as "I put a spell on you," "Bumblebee," "L-O-V-E," "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" and many other relevant songs played in the background as families took their seats and finalists filled the stage. Nerves, excitement, giant smiles and school banners infused the environment.
"Let the Bee begin!" was announced by Lyceum Executive Director Tom Nelson, and the first student stepped carefully towards the microphone. While on the stage, some students were apprehensive, some were fidgety, and some didn't utilize the whiteboard (for precaution). Most of them were confident and all of them exuded bravery while participating with professionalism and ability.
Congratulations to the 62 finalists and 62 alternates who made it through to this year's final Spelling Bee competition. The schools represented were: Bay View Academy, Captain Cooper, Carmel River, Castroville, Foothill Elementary, Frank Ledesma, Gabilan Elementary, King Elementary, La Joya, Laurel Wood, Loma Vista, Los Padres, Marina Vista, Mission Park, Monte Vista, Monterey Park, Natividad, Prunedale, Robert Down, Roosevelt, Sacred Heart, San Antonio, San Ardo, San Carlos, Santa Catalina, Sherwood, Spreckels, Stevenson, Tularcitos, University Park and Washington Union.
First Place went to Grace Wang of Carmel River School, victoriously spelling words such as carbohydrate, habitual, disguise, immortalize and hesitance. Placing second was Emma Pugh of Tularcitos School in Carmel Valley. Close behind were the third and fourth place finishers, Nikos Douros from Carmel River School and Samuel Low of Mission Park School.
We would like to extend a very special Thank You to the students for their dedication and enthusiasm, the teachers, principals, parents and schools for your assistance with the program, our Judges Wayne Cruzan, Bob DeWeese and Christine Westbrook, our word caller, Lisa Ledin, our Hosts Washington Union School District and San Benancio Middle School and our sponsors.