Jared Aparicio-Pena

WENATCHEE — This year, 24 impressive young spellers earned entry to the NCW Regional Spelling Bee organized by the Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF). The regional champion represents North Central Washington at the national Scripps Spelling Bee held annually in the spring in Washington, DC.

Students in grades 4-8 from Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas and Grant counties were eligible to participate. To earn entry into the NCW Regional Spelling Bee, each competitor must place in the top two of their school building local spelling bee. Schools register with Scripps National Spelling Bee for students to compete and get access to word lists, bee guides and more.

NCW Regional Spelling Bee Finalists

(Grade level in paranetheses)

Chelan County

  • Cashmere Middle School: Bea Kelzenberg (7) and Titus Corbaley (8)
  • Chelan Middle School: David Kelly (7) and Cray Silva (8)
  • Manson Elementary: Spencer Thompson (5) and Kimberly Calderon (4)
  • Orchard Middle School: Tenoch Campos (8) and Audrey Erwert (7)
  • St. Joseph School: Gabriela Martinez (5) and Eli Wright (5)
  • Sunnyslope Elementary School: Benjamin Newman (5) and Neal Nayak (5)
  • Washington Elementary School: Emma Johnson (5) and Natalie Smeller (5)

Douglas County

  • Clovis Point Intermediate School: Miguel Rivera (7) and Everleigh Lawson (5)
  • Mansfield Elementary and High School: George Murison (7) and Megan Wick (7)

Okanogan County

  • Omak Middle School: Xavier Levi (8) and Bayley Ross (6)
  • Tonasket Elementary School: Xen Fardys (5) and Jared Aparicio-Pena (5)
  • Virginia Grainger Elementary: Joseph Kruse (5) and Emmett Allenby (4)

Due to school closures locally and across the country, many regional spelling bees have been postponed. This is the case for the North Central Washington event. Scripps is advising regional bees and it is hoped at this time that the NCW Regional Spelling Bee will occur in mid-May. The National Scripps Spelling Bee is currently planned for Washington, D.C., from May 24-29.

The Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) is the charity of the tree fruit industry. Founded in 1994, WAEF coordinates, promotes and develops charitable activities reflecting tree fruit industry member priorities. The organization is best known for its scholarship program. The foundation awards over $1 million in scholarships annually to college students raised in families with connections to Washington’s tree fruit industry.

For more information on WAEF or the NCW Regional Spelling Bee, contact the WAEF office at 663-7713 or visit waef.org.

Jennifer Witherbee is executive director of the Washington Apple Education Foundation.