Submitted by the Rotary Club of San Juan Island
The Rotary Club of San Juan Island held its 15th Annual Spelling Bee at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 4, using a Zoom webinar.
“Last year, we didn’t hold the Spelling Bee because we had just gone into lockdown. This year, we took advantage of the increased familiarity with Zoom to bring everyone together virtually,” Rotary Club of San Juan Island President Michel Vekved said. “Although there is no substitute for a live event, the enthusiastic response we had from teachers and students made it all worthwhile.”
This year’s spellers included students from Friday Harbor Middle School and Paideia Classical School. Unfortunately, in-person classes were opening back up at other island schools and they had too much else on their plate to participate. We hope that they will join the Spelling Bee next year. We also asked Orcas Middle School, which expressed interest for next year. As Rotary has a growing satellite club on Orcas Island, we would love to make it a countywide event.
The contest was open to fourth through eighth-graders. This year, Friday Harbor Middle School captured both first and second prize. The first-place winner, Henry Jensen, a seventh-grader, will receive a trophy and $100. In addition, $200 will be awarded to the winner’s class, and $300 to FHMS. Second place winner, Oliver Parkin, a sixth-grader, will receive a trophy and $75. His class will receive $150 and Friday Harbor Middle School, $200. All students will be awarded a medal in appreciation for their participation.
Several Rotarians participated actively in the Spelling Bee: Steve Bowman served as emcee; Susan Martin pronounced the words; Carrie Unpingo and Pete Rose were judges; and Paul Mayer effortlessly managed the Zoom event.
Henry took home the win when he correctly spelled “centenary,” and then flawlessly spelled “shebang.” Congratulations Henry and Oliver.