Sanger, Fresno Unified students dominate Fresno County Spell Off

The Fresno BeeMarch 19, 2014 

Fifth-grader William Heng from Sanger Unified's John. S. Wash Elementary School and seventh-grader Leah Whitehouse from Fresno Unified's Computech Middle School won first place in countywide spelling bees Wednesday at the Fresno Convention Center's Exhibit Hall.

Heng correctly spelled "premiere" for his first-place spot, and another fifth-grader, Alexa Regino from Polk Elementary in Central Unified placed second. Randy Wallace, a sixth-grader from Pacific Union Elementary earned third place, according to Lisa Birrell, a Fresno County Office of Education spokeswoman.

In the junior high competition, Whitehouse earned first place by correctly spelling "doggerel." Hayley Bishop, an eighth-grader from Quail Lake Charter School in Sanger Unified earned second place, and Rory O'Keefe, a seventh-grader from St. Anthony's School of the Diocese of Fresno, earned third place, Birrell said.

The California State Elementary competition will be held April 26 at San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton, and the California State Junior High competition will be held at Miller Creek School in San Rafael on May 3.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or

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