Harlandale ISD celebrates sixth annual Spanish Spelling Bee

Harlandale ISD held its sixth Spanish Spelling Bee in the Harlandale High School auditorium on Nov. 16 with the participation of more than 40 elementary and middle school students.

The district's Bilingual / ESL Department organizes the annual event to boost learning Spanish as a second language in the district.

“Hosting the Spanish Spelling Bee aims to promote Spanish literacy, bilingual education, and encourages young learners to expand their vocabulary, communication skills and self-confidence,” Harlandale ISD Bilingual/ESL Facilitator María Reyna Mendoza said. “This valuable competition also offers our students, educators and parents a forum to display the fruits of their hard work developing academic and linguistic skills in our dual language district.”

When the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students received a difficult word, they took a deep breath and did their best to spell the word correctly. After several rounds, the words became more linguistically complex.

In the end, it was Gael Ponce, a student from Collier Elementary School, who once again took first place in the elementary Spelling Bee contest with the word murciélago, meaning bat in Spanish.

“I was nervous,” said the fifth grade contestant, “But I'm glad I won because I practiced a lot.”

“I’m very orgullosa of all our courageous contestants, everyone has worked very hard to prepare for this competition,” Mendoza added.

The other winners are:

Elementary School

Second Place - Susana Hernández, fourth-grade student at Collier Elementary School

Third Place - Leah Reyes, fifth-grade student at Morrill Elementary School

Middle School

First Place - Andrew Alonso, eighth-grade student at Leal Middle School

Second Place - Andrés Caracheo, eighth-grade student at Leal Middle School

The winners will represent Harlandale ISD in the Educational Service Center, Region 20 Spanish Spelling Bee on Feb. 11, 2020.

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