Some 135 kids in first through fifth grades participated in the second annual Pacific Palisades Spelling Bee Sunday at the Rustic Canyon Recreation Center. 2013 Winners First Grade Competition: 1st place ‘ Violet Affleck 2nd place ‘ Chaz Plager 3rd place ‘ Leo Craig Second Grade Competition: 1st place ‘ Simon Lee 2nd place ‘ Madeleine Neilson 3rd place ‘ Angelica Martell Third Grade Competition: 1st place ‘ Luca Horn 2nd place ‘ Anne Vinetz 3rd place ‘ Alexa Marsh Fourth Grade Competition: 1st place ‘ Liana Rostamian 2nd place ‘ Ben Volokh 3rd place ‘ Maximus La Via Fifth Grade Competition: 1st place ‘ Monica Martell 2nd place ‘ Alicia Sigworth 3rd place ‘ Miles Partain
Kids Compete in Town’s Spelling Bee
By BILL BRUNS Editor-in-Chief More than 135 students from 15 schools competed in the second annual Pacific Palisades Spelling Bee on Sunday in the Rustic Canyon Receation Center gym. About 115 kids competed a year ago. ’We’re very impressed to see so many kids brave enough to get up here on stage and compete,’ said co-organizer Eugene Volokh, speaking before the third, fourth and fifth graders competed. He and his wife, Leslie Pereira, conceived the event and have worked with numerous volunteers to produce a fun and successful competition. (See the Lifestyle feature page for photographs.) In the first round, the contestants (in grades first through fifth) wrote down 30 spelling words given by the announcer. The top 10 spellers from each grade moved on to the oral presentation, where they each had to spell five words aloud. The morning judges were Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elaine Mandel; Emily Williams, principal of Marquez Elementary; and Michelle Bitting, the Poet Laureate of the Palisades. The afternoon judges were Richard Rosser, a children’s author, screenwriter and playright; Joyce Dara, principal of Canyon Elementary; and Palisadian-Post Editor Bill Bruns. The word pronouncers for the oral spelling bee were Tim Schneider of Schneider Publishing (morning) and Post owner Alan Smolinisky (afternoon). Brittny Aspey, owner of Oceans Education, a tutoring and enrichment business, compiled and controlled the confidential lists of spelling words and definitions. Here are some the day’s highlights: Perfect Performance: Violet Affleck, the winner in the first grade competition, got a perfect score in the written competition, and a perfect score during the oral competition. ‘I don’t think anyone else has done this,’ said Pereira. Violet’s winning words for the oral competition were: fought, online, which, candy and center. Second Grade Oral Round: Simon Lee (Center for Early Education) and Madeleine Neilson (Corpus Christi) were tied for first place after the first round in the oral competition. They had a tie-breaker round and Simon won after correctly spelling four words (misery, entertainment, ambition and abdomen) and missing only one (choral).’Madeleine correctly spelled two words (ferret and alphabetically) but missed three (quartz, preys and suede). Canyon Gets a Hat Trick!’Canyon Charter students Luca Horn, Anne Vinetz and Alexa Marsh won all three trophies in the third grade competition. ‘They must have some really good third-grade teachers over there!’ Pereira said. Fourth Grade Oral Round: Major fireworks here. After the oral round, Liana Rostamian (Palisades Charter), Maximus La Via (Corpus) and Ben Volokh (Mirman) were tied for first. In the first tie-breaker round, Liana pulled ahead by correctly spelling four of her five words (enthusiasm, fervor, advantageous and revolutionizing). But Maximus and Ben were still tied for second place and went through two more tie-breaker rounds before Ben correctly spelled preposterous after Maximus mis-spelled extravagant.” Fifth Grade Oral Round:’Monica Martell (Marquez) was the winner and the only fifth grader to correctly spell ALL five of her words: languished, mesmerize, furiously, contortions and lute. Last year, Monica came in third when the fourth and fifth graders were combined for competition.