About 300 people gathered for the California State Elementary Spelling Bee hosted by San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) for the sixth consecutive year on Saturday, April 23.
Competing for the championship were 56 fourth- through sixth-grade students from 28 counties in California who had been certified as county champions by their county superintendents of schools.
And right in the thick of it was Ethne Anders, 11-year-old fifth-grader from Venture Family of Schools.
She made it through the first six rounds, correctly spelling each word she was asked to spell: slump, target, crucial, shortage, tempestuous and hypodermic. She was not eliminated until the seventh round, when she misspelled “armistice.”
Ethne qualified for the state championship when she was runner-up in the county contest in December. Jefferson Elementary School District sixth-grader Izaak Valadez was the county champion. The Jefferson School student also competed in the state bee.
After 17 rounds, Ananya Vinay, 11-year-old fifth-grader from Fresno County, was named the 2016 California State Spelling Bee Champion.
Her winning word was “pugilist.” (Definition: a professional boxer. ) It was Ananya’s second state championship. She was also the 2015 State Elementary Spelling Bee Champion.
For photos from the 2016 California State Elementary Spelling Bee, please visit the album on the SJCOE's Facebook page.