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Four Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee Winners Advance to State Competition

Elementary division winners in the Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee are, from left, Camille Cheng (first place) of Montessori Center School in Santa Barbara, Wesley Lin (second place) of Kellogg School in Goleta and Srikar Mandineni (third place) of Hope School.
Elementary division winners in the Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee are, from left, Camille Cheng (first place) of Montessori Center School in Santa Barbara, Wesley Lin (second place) of Kellogg School in Goleta and Srikar Mandineni (third place) of Hope School. (Santa Barbara County Education Office photo)

Four local students have won the right to compete at the state level after coming out on top at the Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee, which was held Thursday at the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Camille Cheng, a sixth-grader at Montessori Center School in Santa Barbara, took first place in the elementary division by correctly spelling “enmity.” Wesley Lin, a sixth-grader at Kellogg School in Goleta, took second place with “extraterrestrial.” Third place went to Srikar Mandineni, a sixth-grader at Hope School. His winning word was “oxidation.”

In the junior high division, Emily Vesper, a seventh-grader from La Colina Junior High in Santa Barbara, took first place by correctly spelling “blithesome.” Second place went to Alexandra Thompson, an eighth-grader from St. Louis de Montfort School in Santa Maria. Third place was won by Naomi Buchmiller, a seventh-grader from Carpinteria Middle School, correctly spelling “hyaloid.” The two top winners in each division will proceed to the state level.

Thompson
Alexandra Thompson of St. Louis de Montfort School in Santa Maria took second place in the junior high division. (Santa Barbara County Education Office photo)

Vesper
Emily Vesper of La Colina Junior High in Santa Barbara took first place in the spelling bee's junior high division. (Santa Barbara County Education Office photo)

Thanks to The Masons Lodge, The Women’s Service Club of Goleta, and Town and Country Women’s Club for their donations. This year, two donors, Rafael Saavedra and Claudia Mazzotti, donated $1,000, which was divided up among the first-, second- and third-place winners in the elementary and junior high school bees.

The 2015 Elementary State Spelling Bee, for grades 4 through 6, will be held April 18 at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton. The 2015 State Junior High Spelling Bee, for grades 7 through 9, will be held May 2 at Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael.

More information is available from Rose Koller of the Santa Barbara County Education Office at 805.964.4710 x5222.

— Kris Bergstrom is the communications director for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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