Sixth Grader Andon Lieu Wins District Spelling Bee

Spelling champion Andon Lieu and runnerup Daniel Namkung pose with district superintendent Pat Kelley. Thompson Middle School sixth grader ...

Spelling champion Andon Lieu and runnerup Daniel Namkung pose with district superintendent Pat Kelley.

Thompson Middle School sixth grader Andon Lieu made it through 18 rounds to beat out 29 other students and win the Murrieta Valley Unified School District Spelling Bee Friday.

The top two spellers from each of the school district's 11 elementary schools and four middle schools competed during the three-hour event, held at Thompson Middle School. Andon competed against Cole Canyon fourth grader Daniel Namkung through the last six rounds,

Andon misspeled "apparition" in the 16th round, but Daniel misspelled "verbatim" so the competition continued. In round 18, Andon correctly spelled "circumvent" and Daniel misspelled "piteous", giving the title to Andon.

Ashley Saldana, eighth grader at Dorothy McElhinney Middle School, and Okezie Achara, fifth grader at E. Hale Curran Elementary School, shared third place.

Andon will represent the district at the Riverside County Spelling Bee Feb. 23 and Daniel will be an alternate.

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