40th Annual Riverside County Spelling Bee Crowns A Champion - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

40th Annual Riverside County Spelling Bee Crowns A Champion

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Her dad told her to relax and have fun—a game plan that helped Aisha Randhawa from Corona-Norco Unified School District claim victory for the second year in a row on Wednesday, February 22, at the 40th Annual Riverside County Spelling Bee.

“My dad said it’s not the end of the world if I don’t win,” said the sixth grade student from Garretson Elementary School. “I was really happy about it, though. The other spellers were really good and the words were getting harder.”

She is the first repeat winner since Ginny Wu from Corona-Norco Unified was named champion in 2004 and 2006.

After Ethan Corum, an eighth grade student from Western Center Academy in the Hemet Unified School District, incorrectly spelled cicada, also called a locust, Randhawa correctly spelled vacuole, a cavity in the cytoplasm of a cell. To clinch the victory, she correctly spelled schooner, a fore and aft rigged boat that has at least two masts, to finish the contest after 19 rounds and three hours at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center.

Twenty- seven students participated in this year’s bee. Aisha’s dad, Happy Randhawa said, “I was hoping she was calm up there, and I saw her smiling, so I know she was.”

Corum, at his first county competition, and Hannah Dela Cruz, a seventh grade student from Riverside Springs Charter School in Temecula back for her second year, tied for second place.

Third place went to Frances Desquitado, an eighth-grade student from Ethan A. Chase Middle School in the Romoland School District, appearing in her third county bee.

Randhawa will represent Riverside County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee held May 27 through June 2 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland. She finished in the top 50 at last year’s national event.

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