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Sixth-grader wins district spelling bee

Eyes regional victory next month

Staff Writer

BARSTOW• By correctly spelling “flirtatious” at the Barstow district-level competition, Isaiah Ramirez, will be preparing to compete in the regional spelling bee next month in Apple Valley.

The sixth-grader at Henderson Elementary School earned the spot when he edged out 23 other local students.

Ramirez, 11, won his school’s spelling bee at his grade level for the fifth year in a row, and advanced to the district competition last Thursday at Barstow Junior High School, his mother said.

Ramirez said he began preparation four to five weeks prior to the bee.

“I studied at recesses, after I was done eating my lunch, and at home,” he explained.

When asked how it felt to win this year, he simply said, “You feel good about it.”

The top two finalists from the following Barstow-area schools also participated: Henderson, Cameron, Crestline, Hinkley, Lenwood, Montara, Skyline, Thomson, Barstow Christian, Barstow Junior High, Hinkley Middle and St. Paul’s Academy.

The regional competition will be held Feb. 23 at the Desert/Mountain SELPA Center in Apple Valley. All 24 participants from the Barstow-area district competition, including Ramirez who finished fourth last year, will put their talents up against students from Silver Valley and Victor Valley-area schools.

The winner from there will go on to potentially spell in front of a national audience at the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington D.C., May 26 through June 1.

Last year, Fort Irwin student Lerick Gordon just missed advancing to the semifinal competition in D.C.

The mere thought of heading to the granddaddy of them all for spellers left Ramirez speechless.

“I wouldn’t know what to say,” he said.

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