Angelique Ibarra takes 3rd at the National Spanish Spelling Bee

On July 14-17, 2016 twenty seven students from 4th-8th grade and nine different states, came together in San Antonio, Texas, to compete in the 6th Annual National Spanish Spelling Bee (NSSB). To qualify for the National Spanish Spelling Bee, students had to win a county or state level competition in their home state during the 2015-2016 school year.

Angelique Ibarra (7th grade) and Brianna Velasco (5th grade), students at Río Real Dual Immersion Academy in the Río School District, were 1st place winners of the 1st Ventura County Spanish Spelling Bee held on April 26, 2016. Angelique Ibarra, competed in the 6th-8th grade category to earn first place amongst students from throughout Ventura County and Brianna placed 1st place in the 3rd-5th grade category. Placing first in their respective categories qualified them to participate in the national event.

Once in Texas, Angelique and Brianna met with other NSSB contestants, participated in a practice round for the Bee as well as excursions to Museums and the Riverwalk area of San Antonio. On Saturday, September 16, the NSSB competition began at 9:30 at San Antonio College and went to over 20 rounds of single elimination competition. Students were placed in competition against each other regardless of grade level. Angelique placed 3rd out of 27 contestants from around the country and received a certificate and a check. Brianna placed 9th and also received certificates of participation.

On the evening of the competition, event sponsor Santillana Publishing hosted an awards dinner where all student competitors were recognized. The Rio students were both very happy to have participated in this national competition and felt it was a great experience. The 1st place winner of the competition was from Texas, and the student who placed 2nd came from Oregon. David Briseño, founder of the NSSB, is looking forward to more students and more states participating at the 7th NSSB to be held June 22-25, 2017.