La Palma : Los Coyotes 6th-Grader Tops Spellers in County

When she spelled “commemorative” correctly, Los Coyotes Elementary School sixth-grader Nina Escasa outlasted 13 finalists from public, private and parochial schools in Orange County to become the winner of the Orange County Spelling Bee last week.

Escasa, who will turn 12 in July, was one of 36 students to compete in the written phase of the competition. Students who spelled the 20 words correctly went on to become finalists. Escasa, who received a trophy for her victory, will fly to Santa Rosa to compete in the state finals on May 24. The spelling bee was sponsored by Realtors’ groups in various Orange County cities and the Orange County Department of Education.

According to Gene Starr, Los Coyotes principal, Escasa was born in Hollywood to Filipino immigrant parents who are now American citizens.