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Top Ripon Unified spellers advance to county bee
Ahmad Zaro, Devin Fitzpatrick, Andrew Rivera and Jack Schooland were the top spellers in the Elementary Division of the Ripon Unified District Spelling Bee. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

Ashley Dillman is going back to the San Joaquin County Spelling Bee.
The Park View Elementary School eighth-grade student qualified Tuesday by finishing in the top four of the Ripon Unified District Spelling Bee’s 7-9 or the Junior Division.
“I’m looking forward to going back,” said Dillman, who finished in the Top 12 at the county event a year ago.
She’ll be joined by Colony Oak seventh grader Kenji Bangi, and Ripon Elementary seventh grader April Yan and eighth grader Garrett Castro.
“I think we all missed (the spelling of) ‘succession,’” said Dillman, who correctly guessed the spelling of ‘emboss.’
In the 4-6 or Elementary Division, Ahmad Zaro, Devin Fitzpatrick, Andrew Rivera and Jack Schooland emerged as the top spellers among the  Top 10 from the district.
Zaro (Ripona), Fitzpatrick (Weston) and Rivera (Ripon Elementary) — all sixth graders —- were successful in spelling words such as ‘bankrupt,’ ‘upheaval,’ ‘accessory,’ and ‘aluminum.’
Schooland and others were challenged with ‘tuberculosis,’ ‘variegated,’ and ‘veneer,’ to name a few.
They’ll have a few weeks to gear up for the county-wide event at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.
The Elementary Division is scheduled to begin on Dec. 4, with the finals being held on Dec. 6 at the Wentworth Educational Center.
The Junior Division Spell Bee event will be held on Dec. 6.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail