Jonata Middle School eighth-grader Andrew Kozlov was among six winners of the Santa Barbara County Education Office's annual spelling bee held March 9 at the County Education Office.
Kozlov, who placed third with the correct spelling of "vaporize," was preceded by first place winner Luke Johansen, an eighth-grader at St. Raphael Catholic School, and a second-place winner who requested to remain anonymous. First- and second-place winners qualified to advance to the California State Spelling Bee to compete in the junior high division of the competition, according to an SBCEO spokeswoman.
At the elementary school level, Carpinteria Middle School sixth- grader Emiliano Jimenez took first place with the word “guillotine,” and second place went to Kellogg Elementary School fourth-grader Kelly Chen for “deciduous.” Vieja Valley Elementary School sixth-grader Jacob Mintz finished in third with the word “oxidize.”
Both Jimenez and Chen are invited to compete in the elementary division of the California State Spelling Bee on Saturday, May 13 in Stockton at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.
“I felt really proud of myself,” Jimenez said of the first-place win.
A total of 57 students in grades fourth through eighth participated in the spelling competition, which represented the top spellers from elementary and junior high schools across Santa Barbara County.
“We are so proud of the students who diligently prepared to compete in this year's Spelling Bee," said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Salcido. "They demonstrate a strong commitment to excelling in their schoolwork, and sheer courage to show up and participate in a public competition. A big thank you to the many teachers, schools, volunteers, and parents who support this terrific event."
Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.