Fifth Grader Wins 'Super Bowl of Spelling Bees'
Bennett Ilan won the 3rd Annual 2014 Madera Elementary School Spelling Bee.
And then there were three.... The excitement from the crowd was palpable. The tension was thick enough to cut with a knife for the last three spellers left in what was appropriately billed as the 'Super Bowl of Spelling Bees' by emcee and fifth grade teacher, Eric Danysh.
After 15 rounds of difficult words, fifth grader Bennett Ilan emerged as the winner of the 3rd Annual 2014 Madera Elementary School Spelling Bee, correctly spelling "expediently" to take the crown.
Bennett now moves on to the West Contra Costa Unified School District wide Spelling Bee which is the springboard to the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. Sixth grade students Sara McIntosh and Ning Wang fought the good fight but finally relented after 14 excruciating rounds, eventually finishing in a tie for second place.
Every student participant should be applauded as the challenge for each was immense, first having to qualify as one of the top three spellers in each of their individual classes, having to study hundreds of words, and ultimately having to stand up and perform in front of an auditorium filled with enthusiastic students and proud yet nervous parents, teachers and staff.
Throughout the competition, the Madera Elementary student body demonstrated why this community is so great, as the student audience remained highly supportive of their classmates by cheering after each round for both the spellers who remained and those who did not move on in the competition.
Congratulations to all the spelling bee participants and good luck to Bennett as he moves on to the District Bee.