Merced County Times Newspaper
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From left, Merced County Elementary Spelling Bee winners Mariah Dhillon took third place, Arvin Judge took second place and Harneet Sandhu took the top spot. 

MCOE to host virtual Spelling Bees for local students 


The Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) will for the first time host both Merced County Spelling Bees this week through a virtual platform, with livestreams available for viewing on MCOE’S YouTube and Facebook sites.

The 2020-21 Merced County Spelling Bees will be held Dec. 9 for elementary and Dec. 10 for junior high.

“In order to comply with state guidelines and to keep staff and students as safe as possible, we have transitioned from an in-person to virtual event,” said MCOE Events Manager Stacie Arancibia.

Grades 4, 5 and 6 will compete beginning at 9 a.m. on Dec. 9 and students in grades 7 and 8 will compete on Dec. 10, also at 9 a.m. The virtual event will broadcast from the MCOE Downtown Professional Development Center. Students from 26 elementary schools and eight junior high schools will participate in the event via Zoom. Outside viewers can see the event via MCOE’s Facebook or YouTube platforms. 

Stacy Shasky, Teacher Induction Program coordinator at MCOE, is the wordmaster for the elementary competition and Laura Andrews, State and Federal Programs coordinator at MCOE, is the wordmaster for the junior high competition.

“I am glad that MCOE can provide the Merced County Spelling Bees through a virtual platform and thank our staff and school district teachers for adjusting to this platform,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “This year has presented many challenges and I am continually impressed with how school staff across the county have adapted to meet the needs of our students.”

Some words and definitions have been given to students and they are also encouraged to study the dictionary and words from newspapers, magazines and books. First and second place winners from the elementary competition will represent Merced County at the state championship.  The junior high state championship has been put on hold for 2021. If the event is reinstated, the first and second place students will attend as the county representatives.

The elementary study suggestion list is provided by the San Joaquin County Office of Education, which holds the Elementary State Spelling Bee Championship. The Marin County Office of Education provides the junior high word list.

For more information about the Spelling Bees, contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-5910.

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