Monday, 20 May 2024

Lucerne student finishes fifth in state elementary school spelling bee

Lucerne Elementary student Arthur Wilkie, 11, at the California State Elementary Spelling Championship on Saturday, May 16, 2009. Wilkie finished fifth in the competition. Courtesy photo.




LUCERNE – An 11-year-old Lucerne student finished fifth in the California State Elementary Spelling Championship.

Lucerne Elementary sixth grader Arthur Wilkie was among 60 of the state's top spellers from 34 counties who showed off their spelling skills at the spelling bee, held Saturday at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park.

Wilkie lasted through seven of the 20 rounds in the annual event, going out on the word “soiree.” He won a trophy and a $100 US savings bond.

Quinn Hensley, an 11-year-old sixth-grader from Washington Elementary School in Santa Barbara County, was the top speller this year.

Hensley won the top prize by correctly spelling “ichthyologist,” then “sacrosanct.” For his efforts he received a trophy and a $1,000 U.S Savings Bond, and his school will receive a wall clock commemorating his achievement.

“He got some really hard words,” Wilkie said of Hensley.

Other top finishers and their prizes included second place winner, Savitri Asokan, 10, a fifth grader from Excelsior School in Placer County, trophy and a $500 U.S. savings bond; third place winner, Carina Kan, 11, a sixth grader from Los Angeles County’s Palos Verdes Intermediate School, trophy and a $250 U.S. savings bond; fourth place winner, Elijah Armstrong, 11, a fifth grader from Marin County’s Manor Elementary School, trophy and a $100 U.S. savings bond; and in sixth place, Ameet Braganza, 12, a sixth-grader from Santa Barbara County’s Monte Vista Elementary School, trophy and a $100 U.S. savings bond.

Wilkie said the spelling bee lasted close to three hours, but was “really fun.”

His fifth-place finish was a substantial improvement over his performance at the state elementary spelling bee last year, when he placed 36th.

He prepared for this year's event by practicing with a teacher and a another student, and he also had support from his class.

Wilkie said he uses Webster's Third International Unabridged Dictionary; a few years ago he spent the summer selling candy to raise the $100 necessary to buy the book.

This will be his last year in the elementary spelling bee. Next year, he'll be aiming for the junior high event, which allows students to write their answers but limits them to 15 seconds. Wilkie said the elementary spelling bee allows students a reasonable amount of time to come up with their answer, which they must spell out loud.




Mark Rasmussen, Napa area captain of the California Highway Patrol, presents 11-year-old Arthur Wilkie of Lucerne with his fifth place award at the California State Elementary Spelling Championship on Saturday, May 16, 2009. Courtesy photo.



The rest of the field of spellers and their placement is listed below.

7. Miranda Velarde, 11, sixth grade, Jackson Street Elementary School, Siskiyou County

8. Emily Quinn, 12, sixth grade, Rio Del Mar Elementary School, Santa Cruz County

9. Quinn Camara, 12, fifth grade, Pioneer Middle School, Kings County

10. Jessica Brown, 11, sixth grade, San Jose Middle School, Marin County

11. Roopkiran Minhas, 11, sixth grade, Vacaville Christian School, Solano County

12. Leandra Evans, 11, sixth grade, Claudia Landeen School, San Joaquin County

13. Samantha Riviere, 9, sixth grade, Sutter Creek Elementary School, Amador County

14. Glenna Wardlaw, 11, fifth grade, Mammoth Elementary School, Mono County

15. Keo Jude Sarno, 11, sixth grade, Rolling Hills Elementary School, Solano County

16. Zachary Mah, 12, sixth grade, Richmond Elementary School, Lassen County

17. Katie Fisher, 11, sixth grade, Scotia School, Humboldt County

18. Matthew Spinetta, 11, sixth grade, Plymouth Elementary School, Amador County

19. Katie Doonan, 11, fifth grade, Pine Street School, Inyo County

20. Zane Harper, 10, fourth grade, C.O.R.E. Butte Charter, Butte County

21. Ashley Cain, 11, sixth grade, McCloud Elementary School, Siskiyou County

22. Karl Keck, 11, fifth grade, Anthony Chabot Elementary School, Alameda County

23. Danielle Zuppan, 10, fifth grade, Capay Elementary School, Glenn County

24. Nadia Tomaszewski, 11, sixth grade, Live Oak Charter School, Sonoma County

25. Yori Mai-Isa Hook, 11, sixth grade, Weaverville Elementary School, Trinity County

26. Martin Thompson, 11, fifth grade, Lee Vining Elementary School, Mono County

27. Jessica Burgess, 11, fifth grade, Clear Creek Elementary School, Nevada County

28. Andrew Miller, 11, fifth grade, Ocean Grove Charter School, Santa Cruz County

29. Jillian Strom, 11, sixth grade, Berrendos Middle School, Tehama County

30. Jade Holder, 11, sixth grade, Hooker Oak Elementary School, Butte County

31. Catherine Velardez, 12, sixth grade, Will Rogers Middle School, Los Angeles County

32. Gobind Puniani, 10, fifth grade, Valley Oak Elementary School, Fresno County

33. Hannah Cutter, 10, fourth grade, Arbuckle Elementary School, Colusa County

34. Gage Osborne, 11, fifth grade, Sonoma Charter School, Sonoma County

35. Alexander Chew, 11, sixth grade, Ridgeview School, Placer County

36. Lilyana DeArte, 10, fifth grade, Lincoln Elementary School, Sutter County

37. Ava Gruener, 10, fifth grade, Murwood Elementary School, Contra Costa County

38. Mashal Chhotani, 11, sixth grade, George Kelly Elementary School, San Joaquin County

39. Darius Rucker-McCarron, 10, fifth grade, Mary Covillaud Elementary School, Yuba County

40. Marsha Noeline, 11, sixth grade, Westside Elementary School, Merced County

41. Sarah Marsh, 10, fifth grade, Arbuckle Elementary School, Colusa County

42. Kathryn Moore, 12, sixth grade, Quail Lake Environmental Charter School, Fresno County

43. Zhang Vang, 10, fifth grade, Linda Elementary School, Yuba County

44. Zoe Tacderas, 11, sixth grade, Holy Rosary School, Contra Costa County

45. Kayleen Kemp, 12, sixth grade, Toddy Thomas Elementary School, Humboldt County

46. Jessica Khalili, 11, sixth grade, Susan B. Anthony Elementary School, Riverside County

47. Joe Williams, 10, fifth grade, Millville Elementary School, Shasta County

48. Brawley Parker, 10, fourth grade, Oak Manor Elementary School, Mendocino County

49. Christian Kontaxis, 9, fourth grade, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, Riverside County

50. Glenn Duncan, 11, sixth grade, Pine Grove Elementary School, Del Norte County

51. Xiao Jin Jackson, 11, fifth grade, Mendocino K-8 School, Mendocino County

52. Simran Dulai, 11, fifth grade, Mark Twain Elementary School, Kings County

53. Hennessy McKenna, 12, sixth grade, Pacheco Elementary School, Shasta County

54. Emalee Kourani, 11, sixth grade, Lassen View School, Tehama County

55. Mahima Krishnamoorthi, 10, fifth grade, Lakewood Elementary School, Stanislaus County

56. Benjamin Harper, 11, fifth grade, Weaverville Elementary School, Trinity County

57. Noah Parham, 11, sixth grade, Willows Intermediate School, Glenn County

58. Bowoo Lee, 9, fourth grade, Fremont Open Plan School, Stanislaus County

59. Andrew Pearson, 9, fourth grade, Accelerated Achievement Academy at Calaveras, San Benito County

60. T.J. Bangle, 10, fifth grade, Charleston Elementary School, Merced County.

Students who did not attend were Emma Lauterbach, 10, fifth grade, Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Nevada County; and Emily Deluna, 12, sixth grade, Alliance Academy, Alameda County.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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