On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Hemet Unified School District held its annual Spelling Bee in the District Office Board Room. Western Center Academy student Ethan Corum, who placed third last year, was announced as the winner and will advance to the county level.
Hemet Unified has been participating in the Riverside County Spelling Bee since 1978. That year a student from Hemet Unified, LeAnn Fiske, won the Riverside County Spelling Bee. Over the past 40 years, Hemet has placed 22 times in the county bee and won five times.
In order to participate in the district-level Spelling Bee, students from 4th to 8th grade participated in their school’s spelling bee. Students who won first and second place at their site were invited to compete at the district level. Forty-four students attended the event and competed against their peers. After 15 rounds, Ethan Corum was announced as the first place winner. Damara Cormier from Acacia Middle School won second place, Katelynn Brennan also from Acacia won the third place spot, and Aileen Luke from Western Center Academy was named the fourth place winner.
Students were called up one at a time by the Spelling Bee Master, Dr. Walt Pleasnick. They were able to ask the origin of the word, a definition, and if there were alternative pronunciations. The panel of six judges present were there to ensure students received correct information and spelled their word correctly. A big thank you to this year’s Spelling Bee panel: Merri Snow, Head Judge, Joe Wojcik, Judge, Dagmar Rea, Judge, Elizabeth Areiza, Judge, Sue Breyer, the Arbitrator, Sylvia Ortiz, the Timekeeper, Linda Rush, the Challenge Recorder, Karena Chum, the Round Advisor. Also thank you to Lisa Winberg, Patricia Linan, Nelida Romero, Martha Torres-Valezquez, and Sharon Callahan for your support in creating this year’s district-wide Spelling Bee!
Congratulations to all district-level contestants and our four winners. We wish Ethan Corum the best of luck as he competes in the County Spelling Bee on February 22, 2017 at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center!