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District Spelling Bee Winners

Hardin, DeLaO and Rice


By Robert Winkler
The Desert Independent

February 5, 2012

BLYTHE, Calif – In a sometimes contentious couple of rounds, the Palo Verde District Spelling Bee finally came to a conclusion with three clear winners this past Tuesday night at the High School Cafeteria. Contenders from three elementary schools and the Blythe Middle School came together on stage for an evening that was far from boring. Missed signals, mispronounced words and challenges from a very vocal group of elementary teachers kept the judges on their toes the entire evening.

The District Spelling Bee Coordinator this year was Mrs. Yulil Alonso-Garza, an English/Language Arts teacher at BMS. The Spell Master under the hot seat all evening was Mr. Joseph Rodriguez, Asst. Store Director of Albertson’s. Head Judge was Mr. Sam Burton, Community Partnership Manager at Ironwood State Prison. Arbitrator duties were taken by newly-elected City Councilman Mike Evans. Bob Jensen of the PVUSD School Board and Mrs. Raquel Burton rounded out the number of Judges. Mr. Martin Garza, a Correctional Officer from Centinela State Prison, served as Challenge Recorder, Mrs. Clarissa Hernandez served as Time Keeper and Ms. Karen Martinez served as Round Advisor for the evening.

Challengers from Felix J. Appleby Elementary were Neveah Hernandez, Charlie Rubio, Valentin Gamez, Marc Rodriguez, Lex Lozoya and Ezequiel Perez led by their School Coordinator, Mr. Dale Hackney.

Challengers from Ruth Brown Elementary were Emmanuel Mejia, Christian Reyes, Antonio Figueroa, Nelliya Romero, Christian Rivas and Alejandro Seaton led by their Coordinator, Mrs. Sharon Sanchez.

From Margaret White Elementary came Brennen Copple, Camren Vohn, Ayden DeLaO, Angelina Reyes, Gilbert Lucero, and Devesh Singh led by their Coordinator, Ms. Marleen Robinson.

Finally, the Blythe Middle School sent in four very strong contenders in Evan Rice, Cameron Ramirez, Lauren Hardin and Kelly Pelicano whose Coordinator was Ms. Danielle Sichterman.

The first round went quickly with about two-thirds of the contenders knocked out of commission with misspellings. The next 7 rounds went by a bit more slowly as the students who had obviously practices for the event hung on for every challenging word thrown at them. By round seven, only Lauren Hardin was able to maintain straight focus and won the competition with the word “Caboose”. The confirming word thrown at her staggered her for only a minute, but she confirmed her victory by sounding out the word “Pragmatic”.

In the next couple of rounds, it was a continual toss-up as to whether 7th – Grader Evan Rice or 5th Grader Ayden DeLaO would settle for second and third-place honors. After a couple of false starts, Ayden came through with a confirming word for second place and Evan for third – both honors well deserved.

Bob Bilek, Acting Superintendant of Schools and Malcolm Butler, Curriculum Director, were on hand to oversee the event and make presentation of the awards. Cookies and Punch were served courtesy of Susan Sieler and the Nutrition Services Department.

Lauren Hardin is the daughter of Joel and Jeannett Hardin, Ayden DelaO is the son of Gabriel and Thereza DeLaO and Evan Rice is the son of Jack and Marcie Rice – all of Blythe.



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