Top spellers compete

awileman@sierrastarMay 13, 2014 

Following a five year layoff, the Coarsegold PTA rejuvenated the Eastern Madera County Regional Spelling Bee at Coarsegold Elementary.

The EMC Regional Spelling Bee, started in 1999 by the Coarsegold School PTA, was designed as an event aimed at giving students an opportunity to showcase their skills as wordsmiths and expert spellers all while indulging parents and community members with an opportunity to support and acknowledge schools educational excellence. When the idea was initially evoked the goal was to send each year's regional winner to represent the area at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

This idea became reality and in 2008, the last year the EMC Regional Bee was held in Eastern Madera County, when 13-year-old winner Tia Thomas from Mountain Home School went on the represent the mountain area placing third at the National Bee in her specific age group.

This year's two-day regional competition included spellers from Coarsegold, Mountain Home School, Oak Creek Intermediate, Oakhurst Elementary, Raymond-Knowles, Rivergold, Spring Valley and Wasuma with students competing in nine different grade levels from kindergarten through eighth grade.

According to Nancy Flynn, the contest organizer and teacher at Coarsegold, students received a list of words in December and held classrooms bees followed by school bees in January to narrow to field down to the schools best spellers. The top winners from each school qualified for the Eastern Madera County Regional Bee earlier this month.

Each of the contestants were separated by grades and where asked to write words down rather than spell them out in an attempt to improve and develop their spelling abilities.

"Instead of spelling the words out loud, we decided to have the students write the words," Flynn said. "This helps expand their vocabulary, improve their spelling skills, and improve their reading and writing skills."

This year's regional winners include:


1st: Jadyn Benak / Rivergold — winning word: why

2nd: Ella Cohlan / Spring Valley

3rd: Makenzie Sconce / Wasuma

First Grade:

1st: Ken Nagata / Oakhurst Elementary — winning word: against

2nd: Lauren Rich / Mountain Home School

3rd: Orion Bolding /Wasuma

Second Grade:

1st: Hannah Marquez-Wilson / Coarsegold — winning word: weather

2nd: Gracie Noonkester/Spring Valley

3rd: Caleb Mills / Oakhurst Elementary

Third Grade:

1st: Jane Irion / Wasuma — winning word: difficult

2nd: Autumn Hogan / Raymond-Knowles

3rd: Quinn Wimer / Rivergold

Fourth Grade:

1st: Sarah Clinghan/ Rivergold — winning word: chimney

2nd: Matthew Sheller/ Spring Valley

3rd: Hannah Beaumont / Coarsegold

Fifth Grade:

1st: Emma Hussey/ Coarsegold — winning word: disguise

2nd: Delayne McCoon/ Oakhurst Elementary

3rd: Joshua Johnson/ Mountain Home School

Kaden Painter / Wasuma

Sixth Grade:

1st: Brittany Sultana/ Coarsegold — winning word: orchestra

2nd: Synovia Wold/ Spring Valley

3rd: Emma Hagen/ Mountain Home School

Seventh Grade:

1st: Monique Ades/Coarsegold — winning word: propeller

2nd: Abby Williams/ Oak Creek Intermediate

3rd: Ashley Tune/ Wasuma

Eighth Grade:

1st: Nikki Johnson/ Coarsegold — winning word: flabbergasted

2nd: Angelica Stanford/Mountain Home School

3rd: Olivia Mattos / Oak Creek Intermediate

Flynn said all in all the event went over without a hitch and they received a positive response from everyone in attendance. Lynn hopes to see the amount of schools and participants grow in coming years.

"It is very exciting to bring back the Regional Bee," Flynn said. "It is wonderful to have yet another venue to see our Mountain Area students shine academically and have fun — many many students are improving their spelling skills."

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