How do you spell tetanus? Sierra High School freshman James Quiaoit knows. It’s the word that won him the title of San Joaquin County Junior High Spelling Bee champion in the seventh-through-ninth-grade division for the school year 2014-15.
And it’s the word that gave him back-to-back victory on the county championship level, catapulting him to the state competition for the second year in a row. He represented the county in the state spelling bee held at Miller Creek School in San Rafael last year when he was an eighth grader at Stella Brockman Elementary School.
The champion wordsmith is the son of James Quiaoit, Sr., who works for the state lottery in Sacramento, and his wife Edna, an architect working in the Bay area. Their son is not the only good speller in the family. Their daughter, Alejandra, now an eighth grader at Stella Brockman, also won top berths in the school district’s annual spelling bee competitions.
Runner-up in the same division was Trinity Rico who attends Middle College in Lodi Unified School District as a ninth grader.
Quiaoit and Rico will be competing in the California State Junior High Spelling Bee competition on May 2, 2015 to be held in the same school in San Rafael where last year’s contest was held. The $350 entry fee for each of the top county spellers will be paid for by the SJCOE Educational Foundation.
The 2014-2015 San Joaquin County Elementary Spelling Bee champion is Caleb Terpstra, a sixth grader at Ripon Christian School. His winning word was bludgeon. Runner-up was Sepenta Shirvan who is a sixth grader at Brookside Elementary in Stockton’s Lincoln Unified School District.
They will be representing the county in the California State Elementary Spelling Bee championship set for April 18, 2015 at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.
The 18th annual San Joaquin County Spelling Bee championship was held on Dec. 3 and was held at the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) in Stockton.
Sponsors of the annual county spelling bee are the San Joaquin County Office of Education, the SJCOE Educational Foundation, and Premier Community Credit Union.