Torreon Day School dominated the Eastern Agency Spelling
Bee, placing eight champions, runners-up and alternates among
the 15 positions in Thursday's competition at St. Paul's Catholic
Community School finished with four, followed by Wingate Elementary
School with two and the new Baca Community School with one.
Eastern Agency's 10 first and second place victors (or the alternate,
if one can't be there) will join an equal number of fourth through
eighth-graders from the other quartet of agencies for the Navajo
Nation-Hopi Tribe Spelling Bee on March 18 at the Peterson Zah-Navajo
tribes' champion equal to state winners in Arizona, New Mexico and
Utah will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.,
with a chaperone for the June 1-4 Scripps National Spelling Bee
where approximately 250 boys and girls vie to become America's best
the Bee's sponsor, The Independent pays for the trip. The Navajo
Nation's Din Youth Office conducts the agency and final Bees. With
only 42 students competing, the Eastern Agency spell downs for the
five grades took only about 90 minutes, including the reading of
the rules in which "Option A" broke ties. In this option
the winner has to consecutively spell correctly two words beyond
the round in which the other contestant(s) missed their words.
grade, the champions, runners-up and alternates, with their schools,
grade Champion, Kirsten Bahe, Crownpoint Community; runner-up, Alyssa
Castillo, Torreon Day; alternate, Carrey Billie, Torreon Day.
grade Makayla Toledo, Torreon Day; Andrea Morgan, Baca Community;
Gwendolyn Gordo, Torreon Day.
grade Jamye King, Torreon Day; Nakai Eversole, Crownpoint Community;
Leandara Long, Wingate Elementary.
grade Franco Begay, Torreon Day; Wynona Wilson, Wingate Elementary;
Colin Antonio, Crownpoint Community.
grade Brittany Toledo, Torreon Day; Terrell Toledo, Crownpoint Community;
Sherri Wellito, Torreon Day.
competing in the lower grades was Mariano Lake Community School.
round took, at most, a quarter-hour, with only four rounds of words
needed for the six 7th-graders and seven rounds for the six 8th-graders.
It also took seven rounds to decide the 10 finishers in the sixth
judges often had to strain to hear the boys and girls enunciate
each letter, except for the 6th-graders who spoke loud enough to
be heard easily in the rear of the hall.
were Myrna Tsinnajinnie of Torreon Day School (who read definitions
or used the word in a sentence the few times contestants asked),
Anston Yazzie and Drew Sage, both of the Din Youth Office. The pronouncer
was Mary Morgan of Crownpoint Community School. The Bee's coordinator
and chief bailiff, Roberta Hanna of the Din Youth Office's Crownpoint
center, presented each of the school coordinator-coaches a top-clip
received a heavy-duty light blue back pack and a certificate for
a compact disc player, with the runners-up each getting a thesaurus,
dictionary, dry erase notebook-sized chalk board and a plastic covered
notebook-style organizer. Each of the 42 contestants also picked
up a T-shirt with the busy buzzing bee Spelling Bee logo and a certificate