kids posing with trophy and certificate

Eighteen-Round Duel Decides Spanish Spelling Bee
Posted on 03/16/2020
Jorge Hernandez spelling at Spanish Spelling BeeAn Eagle Ridge Middle School sixth grader outlasted 17 other competitors at the 17th Annual Concurso de Deletreo en Español, Spanish-language Spelling Bee, held March 12 at Vista Grande Elementary School. Jorge Hernandez outlasted Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School fifth grader Daniela Vasquez and Colinas del Norte Elementary School fifth grader Rachel Taylor to win the title.

This year’s Spanish Spelling Bee proved to be a tough contest from its earliest moments. The field was whittled from 18 competitors down to eight in the very first round. 

By Round 4, only the top three were still standing. Taylor fell out in the sixth round, and the mano-a-mano showdown was on.

Hernandez and Vasquez faced down tough words like teoría (theory or hypothesis), léxico (lexicon), and cúspide (a mountain peak), but neither could seal the deal by correctly spelling two words in sequence.  In the 16th round, Vasquez missed jocosidad (the ability to laugh or make others laugh) to hand the stage to Hernandez. Hernandez then correctly spelled jocosidad and a second championship word, batidora (mixer) to win the bee.

Spanish Spelling Bee top threeIn addition to the trophy and bragging rights, Hernandez (at right in the photo) earns the right to represent Rio Rancho at the New Mexico Association of Bilingual Educators State Spanish Spelling Bee.  He's shown here with Rachel Taylor at the left, and Daniela Vasquez at center.  

The Spanish Spelling Bee is similar to the annual Rio Rancho English-language Spelling Bee. Students spell Spanish words using the Spanish alphabet, pronunciation, and characters. For example, students must include the accent when spelling the word adiós, and the “ñ” in spelling mañana, increasing the degree of difficulty.

Spanish spelling bee contestantsStudents from Colinas del Norte, Enchanted Hills, Ernest Stapleton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Puesta del Sol, and Vista Grande Elementary Schools, Eagle Ridge, Lincoln, Mountain View, and Rio Rancho Middle Schools, Rio Rancho Cyber Academy, and St. Thomas Aquinas School competed in this year’s Rio Rancho Spanish Spelling Bee. The bee is open to students in grades 4 – 8 and each participating school may send up to two representatives.