Sonoma County Office of Education

Student Events

2009 California State Elementary Spelling Bee

Sixty of the state’s top elementary school spellers met in Northern California on Saturday, May 16, 2009 to compete in the 29th Annual California State Elementary Spelling Championship. These students, representing 34 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.

Carl Wong, Ed.D.

Welcome
Dr. Carl Wong, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools, welcomes spellers and their families to the state spelling bee.

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Jack O'Connell

Congratulations from the State Superintendent
In his video greeting, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell tells participants, “You’re already winners.”

Rob and Joss

Introduction of the Spellers
Rob and Joss, radio DJs from Froggy 92.9 FM, introduce the spellers during a virtual tour of Buzzard’s Gulch at Cloverleaf.

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Round 1 Speller

The Competition
This video shows the first round of the 2009 California State Elementary Spelling Bee, with all spellers participating.

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Awards Presentation

Awards Ceremony
Mark Rasmussen, a California Highway Patrol captain and one of the spelling bee judges, presents trophies to the top six spellers.

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Stage

Photo Slideshow
Photographs of the event venue, decorations, and spellers with their families are included in this slideshow presentation.

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Program Cover

Program & Results
The State Spelling Bee program booklet lists all 60 participating spellers, including their age, grade, school, and a short bio.

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The 2009 California State Elementary Spelling Bee competition was completed in 20 rounds. Santa Barbara County’s Quinn Hensley, an 11-year-old sixth-grader from Washington Elementary School, won the top prize by correctly spelling ichthyologist, then sacrosanct. He received a trophy and a $1,000 U.S Savings Bond. His school received a wall clock commemorating his achievement.

Placer County’s Savitri Asokan, a 10-year-old fifth-grader from Excelsior School, earned the second place trophy and a $500 U.S. Savings Bond. Eleven-year-old sixth-grader Carina Kan, from Los Angeles County’s Palos Verdes Intermediate School, earned third place and a $250 U.S. Savings Bond. Elijah Armstrong, an 11-year-old fifth-grader from Marin County’s Manor Elementary School, placed fourth and received a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. Arthur Wilkie, an 11-year-old sixth-grader from Lake County’s Lucerne Elementary School, earned fifth and a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. Twelve-year-old sixth-grader Ameet Braganza, from Santa Barbara County’s Monte Vista Elementary School, earned the sixth place trophy and a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

Dr. Carl Wong, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools, welcomed participants and guests to the event, then showed a video greeting from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. Patricia Ehrmann, a teacher at Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park, served as spell master. The competition was judged by Guerneville School teacher Leslie Howell (lead judge); Mark Rasmussen, Napa area captain of the California Highway Patrol; and Sonoma County Office of Education assistant superintendent Dr. Don Russell.

The California School Employees Association sponsored the 2009 spelling championship, which was held at Evert B. Person Theatre on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park. Buzzard’s Gulch @ Cloverleaf and radio station Froggy 92.9 in Santa Rosa served as partner agencies. The competition venue featured an old west town, campfire, festive balloons, and a virtual tour of Buzzard’s Gulch, an old west town in Santa Rosa.

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