On April 1, following a five year layoff, 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 hosted eight Mountain Area schools including 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 all the way up to 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.
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. This helps expand their vocabulary, improve their spelling skills, and improve their reading and writing skills,” Flynn said.
This year’s regional winners include:
Kindergarten 1st: Jadyn Benak/Rivergold — winning word: why 2nd: Ella Cohlan/SpringValley 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 T3rd: 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 the school received positive responses 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. 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,” Flynn said.