Petaluma 7th grader spells her way to state

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Molly Huff, a seventh grader at Mary Collins at Cherry Valley School, finished second in the Sonoma County Spelling Bee, and she is eligible to advance to the California State Junior High Spelling Championships to be held May 1 in San Rafael.

Huff was runner-up to Paul Koo, a seventh grader from Hillcrest Middle School in Sebastopol. The winning word was antiquity.

To be eligible for county competition, students had to win their school contests.

Arlo Jacobs, an eighth grader from Live Oak Charter School, was fourth; Gbemiga Ajayim, a seventh grader in the Petaluma Accelerated Charter School, was seventh; Ursula Hongisto, an eighth grader in the Petaluma Accelerated Charter School, was 11th; Charlotte Banaszak, an eighth grader from Mary Collins at Cherry Valley School, was 24th; Giovanna Bettinelli, a seventh grader in St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School, was 27th; Jeff Zhou, an eighth grader from Live Oak Charter School, was 28th.

Petaluma’s best showing in the Elementary School Spelling Bee was fourth place by Andy Phuong, a sixth grader from Sonoma Mountain Charter School.

The winner was Katie Thomas, a sixth grader from Strawberry School in the Bennett Valley Union School District. Runner-up was Siddarth Kohli a fifth grader from the Healdsburg School. Both will advance to state competition.

Other Petaluma-area elementary school students who did well in the competition were Laney Cardenas, a sixth grader from LaTercera Elementary School, 11th; Kellan Stiles, a sixth grader from J.X. Wilson School, 14th; Jameson Malvesta, a fifth grader from St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School, 17th; Jasmine Paun, a fifth grader from Corona Creek School, 18th; and Teddy Belove, a fourth grader from McKinley School, 19th.

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