Twelve La Cañada students make it to district Spelling Bee

Twelve elementary students will be moving on to the district spelling bee at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 at the La Cañada district office.

Each elementary school conducted spelling bee competitions at their schools last week where four winners from each school were chosen.

“One winner will then move on to the [Los Angeles] county competition, then from there to the state,” said Ivette Ellis, principal of La Cañada Elementary. “This is only the third year that the county has done [the competition]. The LCUSD won both county years.”

Paradise Canyon Elementary student Zhi-He Low won both of the those years at the county level. Zhi-He is a seventh grader this year, too old for the competition.

“I think in the large part the winners are the ones with the best study habits,” Ellis said.

She added that the competition helps the children learn new words, expands their vocabulary and helps them deal with pressure. She said that the teachers take the competition seriously as well as the principals who support their children.

“We just want them to do the best they can,” she said.

Maybe the students can learn from Zhi-He, who had some advice last year after he won the county competition.

“Read a lot. Study words you find interesting,” he said.

The elementary school winners are, by school: Palm Crest Elementary, Deborah Oh, fourth grader; May Brattkus, fifth grader; Joy Benjauthrit, fifth grader; and Kaitlin Thein, fifth grader. Paradise Canyon Elementary, Jenna Dorse, fourth grader; Josie Kamida, fifth grader; Melody Wang, fifth grader; and Samantha Ko, sixth grader. La Cañada Elementary, Megan Riley, fourth grader; Alyssa Stolmack, sixth grader; Will Van Sickle, sixth grader; and Jenna Schwartz, sixth grader.

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