Stephanie Kawamura, an eighth-grader at Kapa’a Middle School, beat out six other seventh- and eighth-graders to win the Kaua’i District Spelling Bee, held Thursday evening at the Chiefess Kamakahelei School in Puhi.
She correctly spelled the words “predecessor” and “corduroy” to triumph after eight rounds. The two other finalists were Santo Saldana, also from Kapa’a, and Jasmine Waipa, from Chiefess.
Saldana correctly spelled “tetrahedral” and “flange” to win the runner-up award over Waipa, who incorrectly spelled “liturgy” in a tie-breaker.
The other participants in the spelling bee were: James Ramey, Chiefess; Shantal Guirao, Waimea Canyon School; Isabella Sherman and Anthony Pignoli, St. Catherine School.
The spelling bee was held at the public school in Puhi for the second year.
Judges were Shawn deMille, from Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative; Dorothy Hoe, English instructor at Kaua’i High School; and Dr. Liela Nitta, core curriculum instructor, Kapa’a High School. Pronouncing the spelling words was Jan TenBruggencate, the Kaua’i correspondent of The Honolulu Advertiser.
Kawamura and Santo will travel to Honolulu to compete in the State Spelling Bee, scheduled for March 30. The annual statewide series of spelling bees are sponsored by the Hawaii Newspaper Agency.