Children and Youth

Spelling Bee winners headed to state championship

Two winners and runners-up from the elementary and junior high divisions will represent the county at the state championships in May
First Place Elem 2017.jpg
Second Place Junior High 2017.jpg
Second Place Elem 2017.jpg
Junior High 2017 Top Four.jpg
First Place Jr High with Krystal Lomanto.jpg
Elem 2017 Top Four.jpg

San Benito County's best spellers faced off this week in the County Office of Education's annual spelling bee, with first and second place winners moving on to represent the county at the state championships in May. First-place finishers also won a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

In the elementary division on Tuesday, sixth-grader Ava Thatcher of the Hollister Dual Language Academy took first place and will head to Stockton on May 13 for the state championship with runner-up Rasmeet Brar, a fifth-grader from Cerra Vista School.

Sixth-graders Marissa Ortiz of Marguerite Maze Middle School and Cassandra Rayas of Hollister Dual Language Academy placed third and fourth, respectively.

Junior high students faced off Wednesday at Sunnyslope School, where eighth-grader Robin Johnson from Accelerated Achievement Academy won the competition and eighth-grader Xavier Guaracha of San Juan School placed second. Both students will represent San Benito County at the California State Spelling Bee Championship in San Rafael on May 6. 

Tres Pinos School seventh-grader Gigli Daly and Kyle Yamanishi, a seventh-grader from Southside School, finished in third and fourth, respectively.


Adam Breen

Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper, English and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance and content director for BenitoLink.