Eighteen students from Los Alamos elementary schools and Los Alamos Middle School were at Chamisa Elementary recently for the 2015 County Spelling Bee. Over the last several months they’ve been attending school Word Clubs for practice through listening, writing and pronouncing thousands of words that could have been used in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and learning to think through the surprises. Most of the contestants are avid readers as well.
First place went to the New Mexico Spelling Bee representative, Nora Cullinan, who is an 8th grader at Los Alamos Middle School.
Second Place went to Olivia Koo, a 5th grader at Barranca and third place went to Sruthi Garimella, a 7th grader at LAMS.
The last rounds with five spellers, included Philip Ionkov, a 5th grader at Aspen and Hannah Gartz, a 6th-grader from Piñon. Supporting the spellers were families, friends, and teachers who were there to cheer on all of the contestants.
Spelling Bees have been in operation across the United States since 1925, with now-famous Scripps sponsorship beginning in 1941. Bees had been in place for many years and the smooth operation of the contest has been dependent on school-level coordinators, a school district facilitator, and supportive judges from throughout the county.