South Shore students place in spelling bee |

South Shore students place in spelling bee

Fourth grade students from the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School won first place at the 26th Annual El Dorado County Spelling Bee. Team members are, front row, from left, Lissie Stewart, Talie Marion, Cassidy Jackson, Ross Kovac, Connor McKeen and Colton McHugh. Back row, from left, are teacher and spelling bee coach Cindi Pastore, and parent-assistant coach Debbie McHugh.




Those were some of the words used in a first-place tie-breaker round at El Dorado County’s Annual Spelling Bee where, among 24 elementary schools, three South Lake Tahoe schools finished in the top four spots.

Those top finishers were among the third and fourth-grade student teams, crammed together in tight quarters at Emigrant Trail Educational Center in Pollock Pines on May 12.

People at the county spelling bee – which had four divisions depending on grade levels – described high tension. The drama has not been lost on Hollywood and the publishing world as both industries have used spelling bees as story lines.

Parent Steven McHugh, whose 10-year-old son Colton was on the fourth-grade team for the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School, stated: “One could have cut the tension in the air with a knife as these hard-working young students carefully concentrated upon spelling out each word correctly.”

After the regular rounds finished in the third and fourth-grade division, three schools had perfect scores: the magnet school, Sierra House and Indian Creek Elementary.

The magnet school survived the tie-breaking round unscathed and thus earning first-place marks. Another tie-breaker round occurred to determine the second-place winner, which went to Indian Creek.

Sierra House took third place while Bijou Community School grabbed fourth place.

Cindi Pastore, spelling bee teacher for the magnet school, attributed hardworking students who gave up their lunch period and arrived early at school to practice.

“They were just very dedicated,” Pastore said.

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