Middle-schoolers second at spelling bee | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Middle-schoolers second at spelling bee

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

South Tahoe Middle School students spelled their way into second place at the El Dorado County Spelling Bee.

Sixth-grade students Erika Marty, Tatianna Peck, Steven Tiong, Melanie McHugh, Hillary Santana and Kelley Treiber were in a bonus round at the word contest that took place May 10 at Pollock Pines.

The six students battled isthmus, paradigm, hygiene, mediocre and nauseous to get their second place prize.

“We lost by one word and I had it right but I erased it and spelled mediocre wrong,” Erika Marty said.

Also in the bonus round was Sierra House Elementary, Al Tahoe Elementary and Sierra Accelerated, a West Slope school.

David Berne, a STMS sixth-grade teacher, helped coach the team using a 250 word master list once or twice a week since January. Debbie McHugh would volunteer as a parent to organize words into groups for easier retention.

The five girls sang “Little Mermaid” on the way down to the spelling bee, which caused Steven to go insane, they said.

“We all sang ‘Little Mermaid’ to get pumped up,” Melanie said.

The song obviously worked.

“I was about to cry when I spelled ‘paradigm’ right,” Kelley said.

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