News Release

February 20, 2014

Spelling bee winners advance to state competition

Four local students have won the right to compete at the state level after coming out on top at the Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee, which was held Thursday at the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Vincent G. Vestergaard, a sixth grader at Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara, took first place in the elementary division by correctly spelling “gossamer.” Matthew Helkey, a sixth grader at Santa Barbara Charter Home-Based Partnership, took second place with “abruptly.” Third place went to Emily Vesper, a sixth grader at Montessori Center School in Goleta. Her winning word was “cuckoo.”

In the junior high division, first place went to Alexander Jacob, an eighth grader at Vandenberg Middle School, whose winning word was “paradisiacal.” Second place went to Rafael M. Saavedra, a ninth grader at Dos Pueblos High School, who correctly spelled “denizen.” Third place was won by Jackson Hurley, an eighth grader at Laguna Blanca School, whose winning word was “hippology.”

The two top winners in each division will proceed to the state level.

Thanks to The Masons Lodge, The Women’s Service Club of Goleta, and Town and Country Women’s Club for their donations. For the second year in a row, an anonymous donor donated $1,000, which was divided up between first, second, and third place winners in the elementary and junior high school bees.

The 2014 Elementary State Spelling Bee, for grades 4 through 6, will be held April 26 at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton. The 2014 State Junior High Spelling Bee, for grades 7 through 9, will be held May 3 at Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael.

More information is available from Rose Koller of the Santa Barbara County Education Office at 964-4710, ext. 5222.

Spelling Bee 2014 winners Left to right, Vincent G. Vestergaard, Matthew Helkey, Emily Vesper

Spelling Bee 2014 winnersLeft to right, Alexander Jacob, Rafael M. Saavedra, Jackson Hurley