Fourth-grader Ana Fernanda Rodriguez of Challenger Elementary School flew to a first-place finish with the correct spelling of “gannet,” a type of seabird, during the Nogales Unified School District spelling bee on Jan. 23.
Aleq Maldonado Rico, a fifth-grader at Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School came in second and Jacobo Miguel Lopez, a fifth-grader at Robert M. Bracker Elementary School, was third.
The contest went 19 rounds before Rodriguez came out as the top speller.
Each of the district’s six elementary schools and its two middle schools sent three competitors to the NUSD bee. The top finisher at each school, regardless of where they finished at the district bee, advance to the Santa Cruz County Spelling Bee on Feb. 7. In addition to Rodriguez and Rico, they are:
Carolina Barreras Brown, A.J. Mitchell Elementary; Felix Eduardo Ibarra, Lincoln Elementary; Sergio Alberto Rosas, Robert M. Bracker Elementary; Jacqueline F. Sanchez, Mary Welty Elementary; Mariana A. Gomez, Desert Shadows Middle School; and Rogelio R. Corrales Aguirre, Wade Carpenter Middle School.
The pronouncer for the District bee was Larry Frederick, the registrar was Julie Ulrich, and the judges were Norma Ahumada, Arnoldo Montiel and Marie Vasquez.
(From a news release submitted by Kathy Scott of the Nogales Unified School District.)