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Local Students Excel in Tuolumne County Junior High Spelling Bee

Feb 17, 2023

The winning word from the 48th Annual Dr. June McOmber Junior High Spelling Bee was ONOMATOPOEIA.

On February 15, 2023, thirty-six students from various schools in Tuolumne County showcased their spelling skills at the Tuolumne County Junior High Spelling Bee. The event, open to 7th, 8th, and 9th graders, was held at Curtis Creek Elementary School and was a huge success.

Zack Abernathy, the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools, served as the Spelling Master, while volunteer judges Shandy Bearden, Kay O’Kerrins, Diane Dotson, Cyndi Simonson, and Colleen Whitlock carefully checked each word for spelling accuracy. Terry Miller, Liz Miller, Diana Harford, and Jamie Pooley assisted with timing and scorekeeping, making the event run smoothly.

The competition was intense, with students from ten schools, including Gold Rush Charter School, Jamestown Elementary, Pinecrest Expedition Academy, Soulsbyville Elementary, Summerville Elementary, Tenaya Elementary, Tioga High School, and Twain Harte School, vying for top honors. Students were asked to write their answers, and each word was checked for spelling accuracy by the judges.

After several rounds of spelling, the winners were announced. The third-place winner was Rachel Thomas, a 7th grader at Connections Visual and Performing Arts Academy. Hana Connolly, a 7th grader at Sonora Elementary, won second place. The first-place winner was Quinn Igoe, a 7th grader at Connections Visual and Performing Arts Academy.

All participants received t-shirts, Spelling Bee pins, and certificates, and the first, second, and third-place finishers received plaques. Quinn Igoe and Hana Connolly will now advance to the state-level Junior High Spelling Bee, which will be hosted by the San Joaquin County Office of Education on May 13, 2023.

The Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools, Zack Abernathy, said, “I am so proud of all the students who participated in this year’s Junior High Spelling Bee. The level of competition was outstanding, and it was a joy to see these young people excel in such an important skill. I wish Quinn Igoe and Hana Connolly the best of luck as they represent Tuolumne County in the state competition.”

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