BUENA PARK, CA – Buena Park School District students matched wits and spelling acumen on difficult words such as Darwinism, coronation and brocade during its annual Spelling Bee, held February 10 at Buena Park Middle School.

The competition was held in the middle school’s new performing arts center and welcomed 20 fourth-graders, 20 fifth-graders and 14 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders for a chance to prove their mental fortitude.

Out of the 54 total contestants, three students were named winners. Buena Park Middle School eighth-grader Julissa C. won first place for the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade bracket, Whitaker School student Jacob M. won for the fifth-grade bracket and Whitaker School student Jayden N. won the fourth-grade bracket.

Instead of a standard Spelling Bee, where students spell words aloud into a microphone, contestants wrote out their words and had their answers checked by teachers in between rounds.

“It’s so crazy – I didn’t think I would make it this far,” Julissa C. said. “I would like to thank my sister’s boyfriend for helping me study.”

Jayden N. said the competition was nerve-wracking, especially during the second round for his bracket, which pitted him against one other student.

The event was emceed and coordinated by Buena Park Middle School Program Specialist Jay Beckelheimer.

“It warms my heart when a community comes together to put on an event like this,” Beckelheimer said. “The students did their very best and they are all champions because they all rose to the occasion. I’m overwhelmed by how much fun this event was, the enjoyment that we got and the student’s happiness.”

Both sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade winner Julissa C. and runner-up Reiane L. will represent Buena Park School District at the Orange County Spelling Bee on March 5.

“We are proud of everyone that competed in our District’s Spelling Bee,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “The spirit of competition helped the students achieve and events like the Spelling Bee encourage students to do their best, study hard and succeed.”


SPELLING1: Buena Park Middle School eighth-grader Julissa C. and sixth-grader Reiane L. were the winner and runner-up, respectively, for Buena Park School District’s Annual Spelling Bee. Both students will represent the District at the Orange County Spelling Bee on March 5.

SPELLING2: Whitaker fourth-grader Jayden N. proudly displays his award, signifying his achievement as the top speller in the fourth-grade at Buena Park School District’s Spelling Bee.

SPELLING3: Whitaker School fifth-grader Jacob M. was named the winner of the fifth-grade bracket of Buena Park School District’s Spelling Bee.