Nearly 80 Farmington Municipal School District students took part

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FARMINGTON — Nearly 80 Farmington Municipal School District students took part in a pair of spelling bees recently, with champions crowned in several divisions.

The district's Spanish spelling bee was held Feb. 28 at the Turano-Chrisman Performing Arts Theater at Piedra Vista High School. A total of 30 students in fourth through eighth grade took part. The judges included Osvaldo Avila and Lourdes Valencia of the ENgaging LAtino Communities for Education program at San Juan College, and San Juan College Spanish instructor Esther Hutson, while San Juan College Spanish instructor Ana Sawyer served as the pronouncer.

The winner was Heights Middle School eighth-grader Itzel Loyola, while Tibbetts Middle School eighth-grader Angelica Castillo-Sosa was second and Hermosa Middle School eighth-grader Angel Garcia was third.

The district's eighth annual Navajo spelling bee was held March 7 at the same location with 48 participants – 28 of them elementary students, 12 of them middle school students and eight of them high school students.

The judges for the event were grandparent and homemaker Renae Bennett, and San Juan College Navajo language tutors Dezmon Tippeconnie and Chris Francis. The pronouncer was San Juan College Navajo language tutor Lorrain-Manavi.

The words included in the contest were all Navajo, and each contestant had to spell the words correctly and remember the appropriate accent marks.

The winner in the elementary school division was Apache Elementary School student Tyanna Tyler, while Animas Elementary School student Kyler Johnson was second and Mesa Verde Elementary School student Tatum Collins was third.

In the middle school division, Mesa View Middle School student Caitlyn Birkby was the winner, while Hermosa Middle School student Tatum Thomas was second and Mesa View Middle School student Kayiara Begay was third.

In the high school division, Farmington High School student Janielle Benally was the winner, while FHS student Shinasha Barber was second and San Juan College High School student Amika Lee was third.

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