School District 71 hosted its annual spelling bee on Feb. 13 at Brooklyn Elementary, giving students a chance to put their spelling skills on display in front of dozens of their peers.
Thirty-five elementary students from 12 Comox Valley schools competed in the annual event, which started in 2013. (The top three spellers from each of the 12 schools were invited).
Grade 7 student Maria Rumney of the Cumberland Community School won the bee after correctly spelling the word “litany” in the fifth round.
Interestingly, because they had misspelled their words in the fifth round, the runners-up were not determined until after Rumney had already secured first place.
Grade 7 student Owen Valmorbida of Queneesh Elementary finished in second after correctly spelling “tamara” in the sixth round and grade 6 student Kayden U-Ming of Royston Elementary placed third after correctly spelling “hibiscus” in the seventh.
Comox Valley schools that participated this year included Airport, Aspen Park, Brooklyn, Courtenay, Cumberland, Huband, Lake Trail, Miracle Beach, Puntledge Park, Queneesh, Royston Elementary, and Valley View Elementary.
The spellmaster for this year’s bee was Esther Schatz, SD71’s director of student services. Brooklyn Elementary principal Erica Black and Brooklyn lead teacher Sarah Heselgrave facilitated, organized and hosted the spelling bee. Ann Robertson attended as typist of correct spelling.
According to SD71, the annual spelling bee has grown in popularity since it started five years ago. The first bee in 2013 only had four schools participating, while last year had 10.