Sonoma County Office of Education

Student Events

2007 State Elementary Spelling Championship

Sixty of the state’s top elementary school spellers met in Northern California on Saturday, May 19, to compete in the California State Elementary Spelling Championship. These students, representing 32 California counties, had already won school, region, and county spelling bees. Each county’s first and second place spellers were eligible to compete in this state event coordinated by the Sonoma County Office of Education.

The state spelling competition was completed in 13 rounds. Riverside County’s Brandon Whitehead, a fifth-grader from Camino Real School, won the top prize by correctly spelling archetype, then boisterous. He received a trophy and a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond. His school will receive a wall clock commemorating his achievement.

Alameda County’s Neethi Bangalore, a sixth-grader from Thomas Hart School, earned the second place trophy and a $500 U.S. Savings Bond. Sixth-grader Rishika Singh, from Santa Barbara County’s Kellogg Elementary School, was awarded third place and a $250 U.S. Savings Bond.

Quinn Hensley, a fourth-grader from Washington Elementary School in Santa Barbara County, placed fourth; Danny Cassee, a fourth-grader Olive Elementary School in Marin County, placed fifth; and sixth-grader Ellie Ehlert, from West Cottonwood Junior High School in Shasta County, earned sixth place. These students each received a trophy and $100 Savings Bond.

The competition was held at Person Theatre on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park. The Monterey Bay Aquarium was this year’s partner agency. The event featured under-the-sea decorations and included a virtual tour of the Aquarium.

Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Carl Wong welcomed participants and guests to the event and showed a video greeting from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. Anne Harris-Gebb, a teacher at Jefferson School in Cloverdale, served as spell master. The competition was judged by Jefferson School Teacher Trish Healey (lead judge); California Highway Patrol Captain Mark Rasmussen; Sonoma County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent Don Russell; and ABC7 Morning News Co-anchor Eric Thomas.