County Spelling Bee Returns to In-Person Competition

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

MORENO VALLEY (CNS) – Riverside County’s Spelling Bee will feature more than two dozen students from charter, private and public schools, gathered in-person for the first time in three years, turning words into points for a chance to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The 45th countywide Spelling Bee will be held Thursday at the Moreno Valley Conference & Recreation Center, where 27 contestants are slated to take the stage following bees in 2021 and 2022 that were all-virtual.

The 2020 bee was nixed when then-county Public Health Officer Cameron Kaiser declared a Coronavirus public health emergency. The 2021 and 2022 events went held online due to ongoing precautionary measures implemented by the county Office of Education.

Last year, Corona-Norco Unified School District eighth-grader Lara Randhawa claimed the county championship title after correctly spelling “cumulocirrus,” which is an upper atmosphere cloud.

Lara, who attends Auburndale Intermediate School, also took top honors in the county’s 2021 virtual bee.

Her family has formed a quasi-dynasty on the academic stage in Riverside County. Aisha Randhawa laid the groundwork for her younger sibling’s success, winning local championship titles in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, paving the way for her to compete nationally in each of those years.

Usually, the top three finishers in the county bee are tapped to represent the county at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is slated for May 28-June 3 at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, according to the county Office of Education.

The county bees began in 1978.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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