Students at contest show they can spell ‘success’ |

Students at contest show they can spell ‘success’

Top spellers from local public, private, home and charter schools competed in the countywide spelling bee Thursday at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City. From “amethyst” to “beguile,” the students drew oohs and aaahs from a crowd of adults as they spelled a number of difficult words.

The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office coordinated the annual event sponsored by The Union. There were 104 participants who took written tests to gauge their spelling ability before 18 qualified for the elementary and junior high bees.

Qualifiers from grades 5-6:

Hannah Breeding – Forest Charter

Rebecca Funk – Magnolia

Annie McDaniel – Mount St. Mary’s

Katelyn Meylor – Cottage Hill

Nicholas Rodriguez – Magnolia

Riley Slater – Clear Creek

Rex Stancliff – Pleasant Valley

Grace Suenram – Grass Valley Charter

Leo Zlimen – Seven Hills

Hannah Breeding won the elementary group, with Nicholas Rodriguez taking second place. Each qualified to attend the May 2011 California State Elementary Spelling Championship at Sonoma State University.

Qualifiers from grades 7-8:

Jessica Burgess – Clear Creek

David Clove – Seven Hills

Joe Hayward – Pleasant Valley

Kierra Newton – Seven Hills

Cameron Riggs – Pleasant Valley

Jay Stancliff – Pleasant Valley

MacKenzie Thurman – Mount St. Mary’s

Morgan Tidd – Magnolia

Sam Zabell – Twin Ridges Home Study

Sam Zabell won the junior high group, followed by Jessica Burgess in second place. Both qualified to compete in the May 2011 State Junior High Spelling Bee in San Rafael.

To view a video of the spelling bee students in action, visit and click on this story.

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