Monterey County Spelling Bee
Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Deneen Guss (far right) joins the top three champions (from left) Ryan Ferguson, Sparrow Picard and Darleen Espinoza with their awards after the Spelling Bee on March 16. (Contributed)

MONTEREY COUNTY — After 18 rounds and numerous words, Monterey County has a new spelling champion.

Ryan Ferguson, an eighth-grade student from San Carlos School in Monterey, out-spelled 26 other students from schools throughout the county to win the Countywide Spelling Bee on March 16 at the Monterey County Office of Education. Ferguson’s winning word was “sciatica.”

As champion, Ferguson will represent Monterey County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., from May 26-31. Airfare and expenses for him and a parent are fully covered thanks to community sponsors.

Other prizes for the first-place champion sponsored by Scripps National Spelling Bee include: a one-year membership to Britannica Online Premium from Encyclopedia Britannica; eight live 1-on-1 online coding classes from Tynker Coding Classes; a one-year subscription to Epic Family with unlimited access to 40,000-plus kids’ books from Epic Family; the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award from Jay Sugerman; and a six-night stay at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center for Bee Week.

Ferguson was also awarded a $300 cash prize on behalf of the Monterey County Office of Education.

Sparrow Picard, a seventh grader at Carmel Middle School, took second place and received a $200 cash prize. In third place, Darleen Espinoza, an eighth grader at Main Street Middle School in Soledad, won a $100 prize.

The top three champions also received a physical Merriam-Webster dictionary on behalf of the Monterey County Office of Education.

“Practicing spelling requires patience, concentration, and a consistent effort,” said Deneen Guss, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools. “The techniques and strategies that each student learns from preparing for this spelling bee will take them far in life, and I could not be more proud of them.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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