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Manteca students spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S
Two win district-wide grade level spelling bee titles
George Komure sixth grader Wisher Tabaco was the eventual winner of the fourth thru sixth grade division for the Manteca Unified School District spelling bee. - photo by HIME ROMERO


That’s a word familiar to the two first-place finishers of the Manteca Unified Spelling Bee.

Wisher Tabaco, a sixth-grade student at George Komure School, captured the fourth- through- sixth- grade division for the second time in three years Thursday at Manteca High’s Mulvihill Theater.

Last year, he took third in the district-wide event.

Stella Brockman School eighth-grade student James Quiaoit finished third last year in the 7-9 Division. This time around, however, he clinched first-place early on and patiently waited as the runner-up spots were settled.

Quiaoit separated himself from the field by successfully spelling ‘epilepsy.’

“I remembered it from a book I read,” he said.

Prior to that, he perfectly hit on words such as ‘bachelor,’ ‘treacherous,’ ‘magenta,’ ‘parenthesis,’ ‘concierge,’ ‘shrapnel,’ ‘caricature,’ ‘propaganda,’ ‘sorcerer,’ ‘tabernacle,’ ‘wallop,’ ‘rhetoric,’ and ‘equestrian.’

Seventh grader Isabella Martinez (Brock Elliott) and eighth-grade student Andrew Campos (Komure) finished second and third, respectively, in a three-way spell-off that also included seventh grader Shubnaz Jagpal (Golden West).

All three were successful in spelling ‘sociopath’ while missing on ‘indispensible.’ Martinez seized second by getting ‘leprechaun.’ Campos and Jagpal both misspelled ‘camaraderie’ but Campos rebounded by successfully spelling ‘indigenous.’

Quiaoit, Martinez and Campos advanced to the San Joaquin County Office of Education Spelling Bee scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. in Wentworth Education Center (Burwood 1-2).

Tabaco along with Brock Elliott sixth-grade student Randall Hinson and fifth grader Rael Carmesis of Mossdale will represent MUSD at 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at the same SJCOE facility.

Hinson took second by successfully getting ‘octave,’ ‘morale,’ ‘neurologist,’ ‘geothermal,’ ‘hyphenate,’ and ‘officious.’

Each participant in this division was afforded one missed word.

Third-place finisher Carmesis hit on ‘rancid,’ ‘cumulus,’ enamel,’ and ‘therapeutic.’

Meanwhile, Tabaco was successful on seven straight words – ‘crutch,’ ‘resilient,’ ‘agriculture,’ ‘kinesiology,’ ‘repertoire,’ ‘alkaline,’ and ‘benefactor’ – before misspelling ‘ambivalent.’

“I just tried to maintain my composure,” he later said.

No matter. Tabaco, at that point, secured the top spot as Carmesis and Hinson registered their second missed words.

He’s look forward to his return to the county-wide event. “It will be important to practice, practice, practice,” Tabaco said.

Principal Deborah Noceti of Nile Garden served as spell master while Shasta Principal Audrey Greene was once again mistress of ceremony.

Most of the nearly 40 students involved in the annual MUSD Spelling Bee were school-site champions, according to Greene.