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Washington School Fifth-Grader’s Name Spelled C-h-a-m-p

Quinn Hensley wins the Santa Barbara County spelling bee by acing the word legerdemain.

It’s safe to say few adults know the meaning of the word legerdemain, let alone how to spell it.

But Quinn Hensley, a fifth-grader at Washington School in Santa Barbara, aced it letter-for-letter to take home the top prize Thursday in the elementary division of the annual Santa Barbara County spelling bee. (For the record, the word means “sleight of hand.”)

Second place went to Madeleine Greenbaum, a sixth-grader at the private Montessori Center, who correctly spelled bayou. Alexander Meiburg of Monte Vista School in the Hope School District took third place with the word enmity.

In the secondary division, Kelvin Noronha pulled a three-peat, taking the top prize with the word cornice. An eighth-grader at La Colina Junior High, Kelvin won the elementary division of the county spelling bee two years ago as a sixth-grader at Mountain View School in Goleta, and then took first place in the junior-high division again last year.

Brenna Hensley, a seventh-grader at La Colina Junior High, took second place by spelling gyrate. Third place went to seventh-grader Taylor Randall, from Open Alternative School in the Santa Barbara School District, who spelled allergy.

The two top winners in each division will proceed to the state level. The 2008 Elementary State Spelling Bee will be held May 17 at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park. The State Junior High spelling Bee will be held May 10 at Miller Creek School in San Rafael.

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