Fremont Elementary School’s Leah Kemp will not have to “coax” her fellow students into admiring the trophy “souvenir” she will be bringing back to her school for winning first place on Monday in the elementary level of the Glendale Unified District Spelling Bee.
Leah, a fifth grader, and Alexandria Chwierut, a sixth grader from Lincoln Elementary, faced each other in a spell-off as the last standing from a spelling field of 20 students strong. Leah took home the first place prize after spelling two consecutive words correctly: coax and souvenir.
All 20 elementary students placed first in their individual school spelling bee.
“These are the best of the best,” said Superintendent Michael Escalante.
This was the 33rd Annual GUSD Spelling Bee Finals; the event has been co-sponsored by Soroptimist International Glendale since 1980.
Each student had his or her own, unique way of spelling. Some would look into the air as if they saw the word, others would trace the letters across their palm and a few would whisper the word to themselves over and over again. Monte Vista fifth grader Maddie Blessinger would grab onto the microphone at times as if she were about to break in to song. Verdugo Woodlands Joshua Choi, fourth grade, let out a sigh each time he was correct.