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Yan, Bangi returning to county spelling bee
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The Ripon Unified Elementary Division Spelling Bee winners were Magadelena Diego, Logan Ceci, Brett Shaw and James Wilkins. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin

April Yan and Kenji Bangi will be returning to the San Joaquin County Spelling Bee.

The two Ripon Unified students were among the winners at Tuesday’s district-wide event held at Park View Elementary School.

Yan, who is an eighth-grade student at Ripon Elementary, advanced to the county level on three previous occasions.

“I’ll have to study the list,” she said.

Yan and Bangi, an eighth grader at Colony Oak, will be joined by Park View’s Colten Marino and Charlie Smith, both eighth graders, at the county event on Dec. 5.

They’ll compete in the Junior Division or the seventh- through- ninth- grade competition at the Wentworth Education Center.

In the Elementary Division, sixth-grade students James Wilkins (Colony Oak), Brett Shaw (Colony Oak), and Magadelena Diego (Ripon Elementary) along with fifth-grader Logan Ceci (Weston) will represent RUSD in the fourth- through-sixth- grade mandatory elimination round on Dec. 3 – the top 15 spellers from there will advance to the Dec. 5 finals.

Ten students from the five elementary school sites opened up the RUSD competition, orally spelling out the word as presented by Spell Master Ziggy Robeson, who is also the district superintendent.

They started out with the challenge of tackling words such a ‘yield,’ ‘width,’ and ‘veteran’ – they were allowed two misspells early.

But, by the fourth round, they wrestled with words such as ‘subterranean,’ ‘tuberculosis,’ ‘camouflage,’ and ‘colossal,’ to name a few.

The Junior Division, by comparison, wrote out their words.

Each had to spell, in this order: ‘deafen,’ ‘barley,’ ‘efface,’ ‘heckle,’ ‘recur,’ ‘snorkel,’ ‘arid,’ ‘lullaby,’ ‘recycle,’ ‘transmission,’ ‘anonymous,’ and ‘cannibal.’

Park View teacher Michelle Rosales once again organized the RUSD spelling bee.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail