The Lyceum Spelling Bee Held at San Benancio School

Photographed: Truitt Mitchell, Nixon Mitchell, Ezra Brown and Clark Kent Apuada

It might have been the ability to handle extreme stress that propelled Nixon Mitchell, a fifth grader from Monte Vista School in Monterey, which put him in first place at the Lyceum’s Spelling Bee for 4th and 5th graders on Saturday.  Leaping such orthographic hurdles as climatologist, suitor, epitome, aerosol, and conquistador, he outlasted seventy-four finalists from throughout the county. Over 4,000 children from thirty-five schools compete to represent their schools.  

Placing second was Ezra Brown from San Antonio School in Lockwood.  The fifth grader correctly spelled such words as zigzagging, buoyed, psyche, overreliance, and mortgage.  

Close behind were the third and fourth place finishers, Clark Kent Apuada of Mission Park School in Salinas, who correctly spelled bronchitis, scrunchie, conifer, herbalist and frijoles and Truitt Mitchell of Monte Vista School (and identical twin of Nixon Mitchell) who spelled heiress, specimen, concurred, morph and discombobulate.  The common thread that distinguishes these children is their love of reading.

The audience of 350 parents, teachers, principals, grandparents and siblings provided enthusiastic support for these spelling whiz kids.

Judging the event were Wayne Cruzan and Tom Nelson.  Our announcer was the winner of the National Spelling Bee for those over fifty, David Riddle. Our two top finishers will represent Monterey County for the State Finals in Stockton on May 11th.

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