District winners to compete in Las Vegas spelling bee
Carly Nystrom, an eighth-grader at Bethlehem Lutheran School, may not have known the definition of a warbonnet, but she knew how to spell it.
However, a misplaced letter in “arrestee” allowed her opponent, Gabrielle Gallegos of Eagle Valley Middle School, to claim victory in the district spelling bee Monday evening.
Students from Eagle Valley and Bethlehem Lutheran held school spelling bees last week and the winners faced off Monday night for the chance to compete in the state spelling bee March 3 in Las Vegas. Home schooler Joseph Schwedhelm also competed in the seventh-grade competition.
Ardis Jacobsen, the language arts chairwoman at Eagle Valley Middle School, coordinated the bee. She said it has been many years since the district has held a spelling bee but that spelling is an important art.
“To me, spelling is ironically becoming more important because of the Internet,” Jacobsen said. “We’re coming back to the written word being important. If it’s in writing, you want it to be right.”
There were tense moments when students tossed the words around in their minds, hoping that, once they opened their mouths, the letters would roll off in the correct order.
“I’m actually relieved that it’s over,” said Gabrielle. “I studied a lot.”
But the students weren’t the only ones feeling the pressure.
“It’s very nerve-wracking,” said Ed Gansberg, after watching his son, Joshua Gansberg of Bethlehem Lutheran, win the sixth-grade competition. “I tried not to look at him – I didn’t want to give it away or mislead him.”
As Jenny Lau claimed the seventh-grade victory by correctly spelling, “simile,” her mother could only assume that her daughter had won the bee.
Jenny’s mom speaks only Cantonese and Jenny has learned English as a second language in school.
“I really like reading so I learn words,” Jenny said to explain how she became a champion speller.
Joshua was surprised at his victory.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I didn’t expect to win.”
Contestants and winners of the bee:
Joshua Gansberg, Bethlehem Lutheran School – winner
Lexy Eich, Eagle Valley Middle School
Jenny Lau, Eagle Valley Middle School – winner
Jared Case, Bethlehem Lutheran School
Joseph Schwedhelm, home school
Gabrielle Gallegos, Eagle Valley Middle School – winner
Carly Nystrom, Bethlehem Lutheran School
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User