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St. Anthony’s 6th grader advances to state
spe;ling bee
St. Anthony sixth-grade student Adrian Guevara receives congratulations from San Joaquin County Office of Education Superintendent Troy Brown for finishing runner-up at Monday’s SJC Spelling Bee Championship. Guevara qualified for the State Spelling Bee in May.

Adrian Guevara of St. Anthony’s School qualified for the California State Elementary Spelling Bee Championship in the spring.

The local sixth grader did so by finishing as runner-up in the 25th annual San Joaquin County Spelling Bee held Monday at the SJC Office of Education’s Wentworth Educational Center.

Praneet Aditya Kumaravel, a Jefferson Elementary School sixth-grade student, took first place in the Elementary Division (fourth through sixth graders) by correctly spelling ‘carafe’ – definition, an open-topped glass flask typically used for serving wine or water.

He and Guevara will move on to the California State Elementary Spelling Bee Championship scheduled on May 13 at SJCOE.

The other participants, locally, included:

·         Manteca Unified – Matteo Massagli, fourth grade, Sequoia School; Evan Plass, fifth grade, Neil Hafley.

·         Ripon Unified – Dylan McKee, sixth grade, Colony Oak Elementary School; Abigail Avant, sixth grade, Park View Elementary School; Nia Ibach, fifth grade, Weston Elementary School; Emily Brannon, fourth grade, Weston Elementary School.

·         River Islands – Aahana Sharma, fourth grade, River Islands Technology, Banta Unified; Aanya Srivasta, fifth grade, STEAM Academy, Banta Unified.

Thirty-seven students took part in Wednesday’s junior high Spelling Bee Championship at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

As it turned out, the top seventh- through- ninth- grade spellers – Lincoln High freshman and first-place finisher Ishaan Ajay, and Jefferson School seventh grader Pranvi Rikkamalle, who is the runner-up – were previous SJC champions.

Ajay took last year’s title and, prior to that, was the Elementary Division champion in sixth grade, and runner-up as a fifth grader.

Rikkamalle was last year’s Elementary Division champ.

The winning word was ‘clientele.’

The two were locked in a fourth-round spell-off, consisting of words such as ‘tourniquet,’ ‘apparatus,’ ‘shenanigans,’ and ‘diabolical.’

Ajay and Rikkamalle will move on to the California State Junior High Spelling Bee Championship scheduled May 13 at SJCOE.

Students from Manteca Unified and Ripon Unified along with local private and charter schools competed in the SJC Spelling Bee.

Included were eighth grader Santiago Reyes of Sequoia School (MUSD), seventh grader Simar Dhillon of Park View Elementary School (RUSD), ninth grader Liam Adams of River Island Technology (Banta Unified), seventh grader Avisha Sehrawat of STEAM at River Island (Banta Unified), seventh grader Bode Hiatt of St. Anthony’s Catholic School (private), eighth grader Jordan Hernandez of Weston Elementary School (RUSD), seventh grader Caitlyn Mooney of Weston (RUSD), eighth grader Ajit Johal of Park View (RUSD), and eighth grader Gabriel Estabillo of Neil Hafley Elmentary School (MUSD). 

The Spelling Bee championships are sponsored by Premier Community Credit Union and the SJCOE Educational Foundation.


All told, more than 75 students from school districts, charter schools, and private schools competed in the Elementary and Junior High divisions during the two-day event.

The Spelling Bee championships are sponsored by Premier Community Credit Union and the SJCOE Educational Foundation.