Friday, March 28, 2014

MPUSD trustees hire acting superintendent, move forward with search

Trustees with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District approved a 90-day contract with William Brand, who will serve as interim superintendent until a permanent hire can be made.

Or until something else comes up. With MPUSD, you never know.

Brand will be compensated with $725 a day, a $400 car allowance per month, and no health insurance. If you're curious to see the entire contract, here it is.

And speaking of the superintendent's search, trustees will meet Monday to select the finalists they'll interview next weekend.

Besides being interviewed by trustees, candidates will run the community gauntlet. In the community review panel will be a member of the Monterey Bay Teachers Association; a member of the California State Employees Association; Debbie Weiss to represent Monterey; Ruthie Watts to represent Seaside; and Terri Seigrest to represent Marina.

And Jo Greenshields wants to know, in a district where 53 percent of the students are Latino, why isn't a member of that community representing? Could it be that MBTA or CSEA have a surprise in store?

Pacific Grove's Larry Haggquist gets California Poetry Out Loud "Hero" Award

The California Arts Council has awarded Pacific Grove High teacher Larry Haggquist the second annual "Hero" award for the Poetry Out Loud program. Haggquist received the award on the state Senate floor on March 24 during the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals in the Senate Chamber at the State Capitol.

Haggquist was also the coach of 2014 State Runner-up, Haley Walker, a senior at Pacific Grove High School.

The Hero Award was established by the California Arts Council to acknowledge the remarkable work done in the classroom by the thousands of teachers, coaches, teaching artists and others who bring the California Poetry Out Loud program to life.

"It's the teachers and others who make this program happen, and for that, they are my personal heroes," said Kristin Margolis, arts program specialist at the Arts Council, who manages the literary programs.

Haggquist was selected as the second recipient of this award based on his extraordinary coaching and cultivation of young poets as an English teacher and the Poetry Out Loud coach at Pacific Grove High School. Haggquist has shown exceptional leadership as the coach of three Poetry Out Loud state champions and one runner-up. Students coached by Haggquist include:

2009 State Runner-up - Kylie Batlin
2010 State Champion - Morgan Brown
2011 State Champion - Robert Marchand
2013 State Champion - Arwa Arwan
2014 State Runner-up - Haley Walker

"Larry is masterful at inspiring students," said Matt Bell, Principal of Pacific Grove High School. "Whether in class, the Young Writer's Club, Poetry Out Loud, on sports teams or the Mock Trial team, every student that he encounters rises to levels higher than they thought possible. Larry draws his energy from the students and his passion for them and for his craft shows in everything he does."

This year marks the ninth time the California Arts Council has produced the annual competition - the largest of its kind in the nation, with over 40,000 students in 35 California counties participating. The program encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. For more information about the program, click here.

Congratulations, Mr. Haggquist! and Haley!

Monterey County students invited to enter annual Congressional Art Contest

Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, is seeking submissions to the 2014 Congressional Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery. All local high school students in the 20th Congressional District are invited to participate by submitting up to three pieces of original student artwork.

Entries must be submitted to Rep. Farr's Salinas or Santa Cruz District offices, by May 8t. Submitted entries will be judged at a reception on May 15, 2014 beginning at 5pm at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039.

The first place winner will receive two roundtrip tickets to Washington, D.C. from Southwest Airlines, and will join students from across the country to be honored at a reception in Washington, D.C. in mid-June. The winning student's artwork will also be displayed in the Capitol for a year.

Artwork must be original, two-dimensional and when framed cannot be larger than 28 inches x 28 inches x 4 inches. Categories for competition include paintings, drawings, collage, prints, mixed media, computer generated art and photography.

The Artistic Discovery competition encourages and recognizes the rich artistic talents of young Americans. Students are allowed to submit various styles and types of art, ranging from paintings and drawings to photography and mixed media pieces. The winners will be determined using criteria based on originality, skill of execution, excellence in use of materials and conceptual strength of the project.

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nation-wide competition.

For further questions and full details, please contact Bertha Munoz in Rep. Farr's office at (831) 424-2229. All submissions are due by May 8.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hartnell hosts forums to evaluate building neds

Hartnell College will host two more community forums as officials continue to evaluate the district's needs when it comes to space.

Officials held a forum in King City this week, and they're schedule to have two more:

On Thurday, March 20, at 6 p.m. at Steinbeck Hall-Student Center, Hartnell Main Campus, 411 Central Av., Salinas.

On Tuesday, March 25, at 6 p.m. at Soledad High School, Multipurpose room, 425 Gabilan Drive, Soledad.

The purpose of the meetings is to evaluate existing buildings and need for renovating them; whether they're being used wisely, and to develop a plan to renovate and expand buildings to support the mission of the college.

Dolores Huerta skips Hartell, attends Washington screening of Chávez movie

Dolores Huerta must have been like, "Hartnell? The White House? Decisions, decisions..."

Or not.

Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta had been invited -- and possibly even said yes -- to an invitation to headline the Women's History Month celebration at Hartnell College. The event took place at noon Wednesday.

The auditorium was packed to the rafters. Organizers were putting together last minute decorations to the room at 10 past 12.

Hartnell students began distributing programs for the event. Except the name of Dolores Huerta wasn't in them.

Students began asking one another, "What's going on? Isn't she coming?"

Turns out Huerta had another commitment. In Washington D.C, to attend the screening of "Cesar Chavez," the biopic of the farmworker's rights leader. Everyone was there: Chavez's children, grandchildren, and the cast members of the movie, including Mexican filmmaker Diego Luna, who directed the film.

President Obama was there to sing Chávez praises, but he reportedly skipped the viewing. He planned to watch it later, now that he's lonely at home as his wife and daughters travel through China. 

Maybe now Luna will have a chance to learn that Huerta was never married to Chávez, as he told Spanish newspaper 'El País." I'm not making this up.

And maybe Dolores will have a chance to come soon, after the Chávez frenzy dies down.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Salinas High School student takes first prize in Monterey County Science Fair.

Kapil Sinha, a 10th grader at Salinas High School, took the Grand Prize this weekend at the Monterey County Science Fair, which took place at Cal State Monterey Bay. His project in the Plant Biology category was titled "Molecular Characterization of the Weed Beet in the Imperial Valley’s Commercial Sugar Beet Fields."

It is at least the second year in a row that Sinha earns a top spot on the science fair.

First runner up was John Chapman Caddell, a 10th grader at Stevenson School. His project in the Applied Mechanics category was titled "The Leidenpump: A Non-mechanical Means of Coolant Deliver."

Second runner up was Jennifer McDonnald, a senior at York School. Her project in the Behavioral Sciences category was titled "Testing Teaching Styles."

The top three projects will represent Monterey County at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair May 11-16 in Los Angeles, California.

Twenty three projects (some include teams of 2 students) will advance to the California State Science Fair April 28-29 in Los Angeles. They include the following students listed in alphabetical order. All winners may also be found here.

Andrea Alexander, York School
Christian Arnold, All Saints’ Day School
Finn Barry, International School of Monterey
Rohan Bushan, International School of Monterey
Nora Butler, International School of Monterey
John Chapman Caddell, Stevenson School
Kalee Choate, San Benancio Middle School
Carson Coppinger, All Saints’ Day School
Sophia Federico, Salinas High School
Elle Froistad, Salinas High School
Madeline Hoisington, International School of Monterey
Christopher How, International School of Monterey
Iona Joseph, San Benancio Middle School
Jackson Gobel, All Saints’ Day School
Mary Liu, Salinas High School
Billy Lynch, All Saints’ Day School
Mason McCollum, York School
Jennifer McDonnal, York School
Camryn More, San Benancio Middle School
Olivia Myers, All Saints’ Day School
Grace Niccum, All Saints’ Day School
Alyssa Pompan, York School
Aaron Ray, York School
Kapil Sinha, Salinas High School
Montana Sprague, York School
Chaitra Subbarao, Salinas High School
Megan Tang, York School
Anna Wheat, International School of Monterey
Kyle Worcester-Moore, International School of Monterey

Congratulations to all these bright students! Hard work pays off, right? 

Dolores Huerta coming to Hartnell College

Civil and farmworker rights icon Dolores Huerta will visit Hartnell College on Wednesday as part of celebrations for Women's History Month.

Huerta will focus her talk in celebrating women of character, courage, and commitment. The celebration will feature musical and dance performances by students and guests.

The event is open to the public and will start at 12:00 p.m. in Building K Room 125.

Huerta is a national figure recognized by her leadership as a union organizer, a women rights advocate, and a spokesperson for non-violence organizing.

In addition, the month-long celebration includes a pictorial display at the Student Center celebrating accomplished Women throughout history, an interactive online exhibit from the National Women’s History Museum, a short film festival, and an art exhibit featuring female artists.

Friday, March 14, 2014

High school students: get away this summer on a journalism camp

The 21st annual Mosaic High School Journalism Workshop is looking for 18 students for an exciting, two-week, newspaper camp taught by professional reporters, editors and photographers.

And it's free!

The students will work in the campus newsroom at San Jose State University. They’ll hit the streets of Silicon Valley to cover issues and trends that matter to them and other teens. They’ll stay overnight in campus dormitories and get a taste of college life. Our instructors will guide them every step of the way, from focusing story and photo ideas to reporting and writing. At the end of the program they'll see their newspaper roll off the presses of the Bay Area News Group.

Please visit our Website for more details, online versions of previous workshop newspapers and a downloadable application for the 2014 program here.

Founded in 1993, the Mosaic has given 380 high school students a close-up, hands-on look at professional journalism. Many of them now work at newspapers, magazines, television and online publications around the country.

Applicants must be current sophomores, juniors or seniors. The 2014 Mosaic will be held from Sunday, June 15 to Friday, June 27. Applications are due (postmarked no later than) April 7.

You can find more information here and the application here.

Gonzales families celebrate STEM successes

Gonzales Unified School District and Hartnell College’s NASA/SEMAA (Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Aerospace Academy) program will be hosting a potluck Family Café event on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at La Gloria Cafeteria at 220 Elko Street, Gonzales.

The event is designed to celebrate and share the successes of student’s participation in the Saturday STEM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

The program will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Families of the attendees are invited to come and see a special presentation about the program, hear a very exciting special guest speaker, and participate in a science mission activity.

Over 250 students, K-12, have been attending the program and have completed many missions that focus on relevant science concepts and how they apply to space.

This sounds like an good family event, so if you're in Gonzales, you should check it out. 

Hartnell alumni: what have you done newsworthy lately?

Hartnell officials are looking for nominations for this year’s Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna, who will also be the 2013-2014 Commencement Speaker. This recognition is granted to an individual who has achieved distinction in his/her chosen field and has demonstrated on-going contributions to the College.

The nomination period is now open through March 21. Hartnell College Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award nominees may be recommended to the President/Superintendent by Trustees, faculty, staff, and the community at large.

The nomination form is attached and can be mailed, e-mailed, or personally delivered to the Office of the Superintendent/President at 411 Central Avenue, Building E, Salinas, by the deadline. A selection committee will review all complete nominations and will submit a group of finalists to the Board of Trustees. To access the nomination form online, click here .

Trustees will make the final selection at their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. at which time the 2013-2014 Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna will be announced.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Did you ever ride The Del Monte Express?

The Media Center for Art, Education, and Technology is producing a documentary about The Del Monte Express, a train that had service into Pacific Grove from 1890 until 1971.

MCAET Television Production is looking for movie footage, still photos and memories from people (or their relatives) who took a ride on The Del Monte Express. The show will investigate the current conditions of our public transportation systems and motivate the public to value sustainable transportation. Share your story with MCAET so they can paint a full and accurate picture of the train's history.

The 60 minute television special will be produced with the help of eight students from the Millennium Charter High School in Salinas, and will be used for educational purposes.

Submissions are requested immediately through March 31, 2014 to be emailed to the production team at

Monterey County teens compete in Robotics in Sacramento

California Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson will attend the Sacramento Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition at UC Davies.

High school students from 55 California schools will compete for $19 million in scholarships -- and I know we have several students from local high schools in the mix. Good luck, guys and gals! Let me know how well you place in the competition.

Monday, March 10, 2014

MPUSD to elect interim superintedent Tuesday

The agenda for Tuesday's meeting at the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District is as juicy as ever: trustees will appoint an interim superintendent, they'll discuss an agreement to better define Monterey High's relationship with MAOS, and who knows what other items will prove interesting. 

The worst part -- I won't be there to watch it!

Yeah. I have a very important date with Gustavo Dudamel that just can't be postponed. Darn it.

So, Scuttlebutt, you're in charge. Keep me posted.

Oasis Charter to eliminate 7th and 8th grades

In spite of passionate opposition by some parents, officials with Oasis Charter Public School in Salinas decided to eliminate 7th and 8th grades from their school beginning the upcoming school year.

Perea wrote in an email the decision was arrived after "many" months of deliberations. The first meeting Perea refers to took place in November. The closure was originally scheduled to be voted on January, but board members requested more time to receive more information.

"Oasis has invited local middle school representatives and outgoing Oasis students to talk to Oasis 6th and 7th graders about the amenities their schools offer and to answer questions to help support transitioning students," Perea said.

Perea convinced officials the students would be better served if the school took a STEM approach in teaching -- that is, if it emphasized Science, Technology, Energy and Math. Administrators are "in the planning process of adding more K-6 grade multi-age classes and implementing pilot programs that emphasize science, technology, engineering, math and the arts," Perea said.

Nancy Kotowski stays put for another four years

Friday was the last day to file for candidacy for the upcoming primary election, and there's a slew of incumbents who will have another four years assured since nobody decided to take them on.

Including Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Kotowski.

Kotowski just got an apparent vote-of-confidence from the public, as she drew no challengers for the June primary. Either that or potential candidates decided they had to deal with internal problems before going public.

Either way, we'll have Kotowski for another four years. It'll be interesting to see what they bring.

Stay tuned.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Hartnell provides report on Measure H bonds

If you want to get a rundown on how Hartnell's been spending bond funds, administrators have just posted the 2012-13 annual report on their website.

You can find it here. It even has a cool rendition of what the science building will look like.

Residents of the Hartnell Community College District voted in 2002 to pass Measure H, a $131 million general obligation bond measure. The purpose of the bond measure was to address education facilities needs within the Hartnell. Over the life of the bond measure, the district has built many new buildings and has renovated and modernized many others, including the Alisal Campus and the King City Education center. 

The final facility to be built with Measure H funds is the 56,000 sq. ft. science building. Construction on this project is scheduled to begin soon.

Incidentally, Hartnell administrators recently re-financed a portion of the bonds that carried an average interest of 5.3 percent to an average of 3.32 percent, reducing the community’s tax bill by $2,280,289 over the next 16 years.

No calculations were available as to how much that translates per home.

The refinance was not of Series D bonds, which are capital appreciation bonds that carry a higher repayment ratio and are usually more expensive. The earliest Hartnell will be able to refinance those bonds will be in 2017-19, President Willard Lewallen said.

It's Monterey County History Day

Come by Los Arboles Middle School this Saturday, March 8, to enjoy savvy history presentations by students in grades 4 to 12 all over Monterey County.

This year the theme is "Rights and Responsibilities." What are our rights as citizens of the United States? What are our responsibilities?

Most importantly, how do students express these ideas? Come find out!

History Day is an enrichment program that furthers understanding of historical issues, ideas, people and events. The winning projects of the Monterey County competition will go on to the state finals on April in Riverside. About 35,000 students in California participate in the program each year.

So check it out! The competition will be held from 9 to noon, and the awards ceremony starts at 4:30 p.m. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sociologist C.J. Pascoe coming to CSUMB

C.J. Pascoe, whose work explores the terrain of sexuality and gender identity, will speak at CSU Monterey Bay on March 25.

A professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, she is the author of “Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School.” The award-winning book, based on 18 months of fieldwork in a racially diverse working-class high school, documents the relationship among homophobic harassment, heterosexism and masculinity.

The 6 p.m. talk will be held in the University Center on Sixth Avenue at B Street. Driving directions and a campus map are available here.

Pascoe's research has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Toronto Globe and Mail, American Sexuality Magazine and Inside Higher Ed.

She will discuss homophobia, sexism, gender policing and their effects on young people. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the talk.

Sounds like a topic many high school teachers and administrators could benefit from. Hey, maybe my young friends at Marina High diversity club would enjoy it too!

Tickets are $5. Visitors must purchase a parking permit from a dispenser on the parking lot.

The event is sponsored by CSUMB’s Otter Cross Cultural Center. More information is available from rita zhang at or 582-4676.

Another scholarship available to Monterey-area high school students

The New Millennium Scholarship will be awarded to four Monterey Peninsula public high school students who have a vision for their contribution to the community, who have shown determination and willingness to overcome hardship to achieve their educational goals, and who are striving for excellence on a personal and academic level.

The scholarship is sponsored by The Fishwife and Turtle Bay restaurants.

One $2,000.00 tuition scholarship, and three $1,000.00 tuition scholarships will be awarded in 2014. The recipients will be announced before graduation, in June.

Completed applications must be postmarked-or hand delivered by March 31, 2014. For more information and a complete application, click here.

For more information, call 375-7108 or email

To qualify for the 2014 New Millennium Scholarship you must be a graduating Senior currently enrolled at Carmel High, Monterey High, Pacific Grove High, Marina or Seaside High. Student must carry a minimum 3.0 GPA (based on Sophomore and Junior years).

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Scholarship opportunity from National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators

The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators will award the John S. Martinez  Leadership Scholarship  to Latino public high school students who reside in the district of a Hispanic State Legislator.

The scholarship has been specifically designed to help Hispanic high school students achieve educational success. This program has been implemented within the thirty eight (38) states and territories that have Latino state legislators. The award will be provided to a total of 11 Hispanic public high school students and no more than two recipients will be selected per state.

Each recipient will be awarded a one-time $3,000 grant towards their higher education in recognition of outstanding academic achievements and leadership. Additionally, recipients will have the chance to meet with their local Latino legislator. This scholarship is in honor of the late John S. Martinez, a Hispanic leader who served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and a former president of National Hispanic Caucus.

The deadline to submit an applications is March 15, 201. Find the application here.

Sister Helen Prejean to Speak at Santa Catalina School

Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun well known for her activism against the death penalty, will talk about the experiences that inspired her to write " Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States" during a presentation at Santa Catalina school on Thursday, March 20 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. The presentation will take place at the school's performing arts center on 1500 Mark Thomas Drive in Monterey.

Prejean will also discuss her second book "The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions." The event will also include a question and answer session with Prejean.

Prejean has been at the forefront of the anti-death-penalty movement in the U.S. for several decades. During the 1980s, she worked at the St. Thomas Housing Project and the Hope House in New Orleans and was asked to correspond with Patrick Sonnier, a death-row inmate in a Louisiana state prison. She agreed and became his spiritual advisor. After witnessing Sonnier's execution, she wrote "Dead Man Walking," detailing the experience. Since then she has accompanied six men to their deaths and now divides her time educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling death-row prisoners and the families of murder victims. She is currently working on her third book, "River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey."

This event is free and open to the public. To attend RSVP at For more information please contact the Santa Catalina Upper School Office at 655-9300.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Greenfield hires Harry Ervin as new superintendent

Trustees with the Greenfield Union School District voted unanimously to hire Harry Ervin as their new superintendent at their Feb. 20 meeting. Ervin reportedly has been working to turn around failing schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District for the past six years. The Board received over 120 applicants, and after a site visit to Los Angeles, the Board returned to Greenfield convinced that he was the right person for the job of leading the district.

Ervin replaces Trevor McDonald, who helped turn around Greenfield in his two year tenure. McDonald left the district last summer.

Ervin's initial contract is for three years, and he'll receive $160,000 for 220 days of work per year. He'll receive the same pay increases, medical and retirement benefits as represented employees with the district. He'll have a transportation allowance of $300 a month, $50 for Internet connection at home, $100 for cell phone allowance, and $7,500 for relocation expenses. If you want to take a peek at his contract, here it is. 

Salinas City Teachers going to Las Vegas

A concerned reader alerted us to a three-day trip  17 teachers of the Salinas City Elementary School District will be taking April 1 through 4. The trip will cost the district a bit over $25,000, and the reader was concerned perhaps the money could be better used elsewhere.

Say, by bringing the training to the district instead of sending the teachers to Las Vegas.

But Superintendent Juvenal Luza says it's better for the teachers to go where all the professionals will be. The topics covered during the conference, mostly about developing "learning communities," work better when all the teachers are on board, he said.

"We discourage just sending one or two teachers. Sending 10 people is wonderful because the culture of the school is going to be better. At the end of every session, every day, participants debrief with the principal to say how can we move with this transformation? If a principal comes with one or two people, I don’t encourage that."

"Learning communities" is a fancy way for schools to say the teachers collaborate and learn from one another. It sounds simple, but in the hectic world of teaching, developing a culture where teachers sit down to share ideas and practices is a bit more complicated.

The trip has been authorized for eight staff members of Loma Vista and nine of Los Padres elementaries. 

Besides, sending several teachers and administrators on a trip is not new for the district, Luza said. About five years ago, the district rented a plane to send 100 teachers to Las Vegas, he said.

And going to Las Vegas is actually cheaper than going to Los Angeles, Luza said.

It must be all the free buffets the casinos seduce you with.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Antartica researcher Stacy Kim visits Stevenson's STEM program

Researcher and Remotely operated underwater vehicle developer Stacy Kim paid a visit to Stevenson’s Grade 6 STEM class to talk about her adventures in Antarctica's McMurdo Sound, ROVs, and her current research.

Stevenson’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program developed a highly technical ROV project that culminated with the Grade 6 students building, wiring, and piloting their own underwater "robots" in the Pirate Pool on the Pebble Beach Campus in February.

Kim lead a presentation and shared her experience with the students to aid, guide, and inspire them as they complete their projects.

Kim is a benthic ecologist and long-time Antarctica diver who studies seafloor creatures and marine life communities in waters below freezing. Her team developed and worked with SCINI (Submersible Capable of Under Ice Navigation and Imaging) that can go to depths below those accessible to divers.

Kim is currently research faculty at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. She has been featured on the BBC’s Frozen Planet, National Geographic, and the Today Show.

Jonathan Capuyan captures Monterey Countywide Spelling Bee

Jonathan Capuyan, an 8th grader from Palma School, won the annual Monterey County Spellinng Bee on Sunday at Harnell College's Western Stage.

Jonathan won  in the 19th round with the word expectant. He had  finished in second place in the 2013 Countywide Spelling Bee.

Jonathan also correctly spelled the words: barley, maraca, implement, sukiyaki, entourage, samovar, karaoke, escargot, sassafras, commensurate, balalaika, edelweiss, proofread, bloodless, barrier, recipe, therein, and wither.

As champion, Jonathan will represent Monterey County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington, D.C. area May 25-31, 2014. Airfare, accommodations and expenses for a week of tours, activities and the spelling competition will be provided for the champion and a parent by community partners.

Roober Cruz, an 8th grader at San Benancio Middle School, came in second place. Roober and Jonathan went head to head in rounds 8 through 18. Roober correctly spelled the words: sumo, knavery, incorruptible, guilder, mystique, banzai, charpay, innocuous, halal, mercerize, madeleine, mukhtar, refrain, consort, cobwebby, scourge and victim.

Elijah Herrera is an 8th grader at Mission Union School. He correctly spelled the words transect, repel, bower, extravaganza and genre.

Congratulations, champions! You should be proud of your accomplishments.