LAKE ELSINORE—Ava Cleary, a fifth grade student at Cottonwood Canyon Elementary School, is the district’s First Place spelling bee champion after a 16 round competition last night.
Runner Up is Diego Garcia, from Railroad Canyon Elementary School, also in the fifth grade. This is the third consecutive year a Cottonwood Canyon student has won first place.
Twenty nine students grades 4 through 8 participated in the Gordon Keifer Memorial Spelling Bee at the Tom Thomas Rotary Performing Arts Theater on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. The field was down by more than half at round two; a single match between our ultimate champs came during the 15th.
For Ava, the pathway to victory was cleared in the 16th round. Her final challenge word was “mirage,” which she calmly spelled through a faint smile, knowing the win was hers. Ava will represent LEUSD at the County competition next month, with Diego as the district’s alternate. The 42nd County Bee is under the auspices of the Riverside County Office of Education.
The Board of Trustees will recognize both champions at a future Board meeting. These champions and all 34 school site winners are to be congratulated for this year’s competition.