Spelling bee a honey of an event

Molly Shore

Benjamin Franklin never looked so good to Jordan Middle School

student Kevin Sanchez as it did when he won $100 in the district’s

first-ever middle school spelling-bee competition.


Kevin, competing against Ashley Schwartz of John Muir Middle

School and Marisa Llamas of Luther Burbank Middle School at the

Thursday event, correctly spelled “covey” after Ashley misspelled the

word, then nailed his win by correctly spelling “parasitic.”


Ashley and Marisa, who had earlier misspelled the word “pavilion,”

walked away with $50 each.

Kevin admitted he didn’t do any special studying for the


“I just got lucky,” he said. “I never heard [the word] ‘covey’


The eighth-grader said he has been a contestant in four other

spelling bees. In the fourth grade, Kevin competed against his


brother, who was a year ahead of him.

Ashley said she had a friend quiz her on words, and Marisa said

her sister helped her prepare for the contest.

The three champion spellers representing their schools will

advance to the middle school regional spelling bee at Taft High

School in Los Angeles next month.

The cash prizes, given by the Zonta Club of Burbank, were

presented to the students by Zonta representative Julie Modglin and


school board member Connie Lackey, who hosted the event.

District Supt. Gregory Bowman was the pronouncer and judges were

Assistant Supt. Alexis Sheehy, literacy resource teacher Jo Arnott

and Zonta representative Mildred Hamburg.

The spelling bee will be broadcast on Wednesday’s “Chalk Talk”

show on Charter Communications Channel 6.