Written By: Malaya Caligtan Tran '17 and Mrs. Liz Ratzi
La Pietra students competed in the fourth annual Spelling Bee hosted by the National Honor Society (NHS) at the Learning Center on campus on Friday afternoon, December 1, 2017. The Spelling Bee, which took place after school, included three divisions: the middle school division, the upper school division, and the newly added teachers' division. The audience was packed with students, teachers, staff, administration and parents.
Competing in the middle school division were Liahona Taala '24, Kylee Ann Camacho '24, Mandala Farrar '24, Infinity Reasoner '24, Bella Zambuto '23, and Jaimie Lee '22. The girls in the upper school division were Iris Riverstone '21, Kaya Heimowitz '20, Pearl Lattanzi '19, Nastassja Ullrich '19, Anela Donachie '19, Ruby Shuman '18, and Elisabeth Boucher '18. The teacher division participants were Social Studies teacher Mrs. Holly Christopher, Science teacher Ms. Nicole Ferguson, Music teacher Mrs. Shari Lynn, Math teacher Mr. Jack Wade, and Head of School Dr. Watson.
The NHS began recruiting Spelling Bee contestants in October, with a goal of finding at least one participant to represent each grade level. They met that goal and were thrilled with the record number of spellers this year. Mrs. Liz Ratzi, the NHS advisor, coordinated the logistics of the event with NHS members Malaya Caligtan-Tran '18, Georgina Rose D'Sanson '18, and Arianna Radona '19. Catherine Middleton '18 was the MC or the "Queen Bee" for the event.
The Spelling Bee was accompanied by a fundraising bake sale, also organized by the NHS. Kelsey Nakagawa '19 and Arianna Bow '19 helped to run the snack sales outside. Lanihuli Gilbert '18 and Emma Oshiro '19 served as word checkers for the Spelling Bee. Ms. Camille Lesnick, an English teacher at La Pietra, served as the pronouncer. Academic Dean Dr. Angie Dolan gave a warm welcome before the competition began.
Ms. Nicole Ferguson was the winner of the teacher division after an intense spell-off with Dr. Josh Watson. Iris Riverstone won the upper school competition, with Pearl Lattanzi as runner up. Jaimie Lee was declared winner of the middle school contestants, with Mandala Farrar placing second. To conclude the event, Dean of Students Mrs. Gay Chinen passed out goodie bags and certificates to all participants. The winners of each division received an additional special prize, a pair of movie tickets.
Middle schoolers Jaimie Lee and Mandala Farrar will go on to represent La Pietra in the Honolulu District Spelling Bee on Saturday, January 13, 2018.