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San Jacinto student wins spelling bee for third year


February 10, 2014
Seventh-grade student Shakson Isaac certainly isn't inexperienced when it comes to spelling bees. In fact, he isn't just adept to competing in spelling bees, but winning them. For the third year in a row, Shakson took first place in the San Jacinto Unified School District Spelling Bee last week.

The San Jacinto Leadership Academy student went 15 rounds and spelt "poltergeist" correctly to take the district spelling bee title. In second place was Justin Hemmati, also from San Jacinto Leadership Academy.

The two dueled back and forth from round eight through round 15, spelling words such as "picturesque," "temporal," "emblazoned," and "derivative."

The district spelling bee includes students from grade four through eight from 10 schools, with two students from each school competing.

The bee moved quickly, with 12 students misspelling a word in the first round, two in the third round, one in the fourth and seventh rounds, and two in the eighth round.

Julian Gonzalez of Megan Cope Elementary School and Lisas Luu of North Mountain Middle School battled it out for third place in seven extra rounds after the end of the spelling bee. Julian won third by correctly spelling "kirtle."

For Shakson, the victory was an exciting one.

"I did a lot of practicing, on websites and with flashcards," Shakson said. "Every year it gets harder because there is more and more pressure to win. I am really happy about this one."

With his win, Shakson qualified for the Riverside County Spelling Bee on March 12 in Moreno Valley. The winner of the county bee will qualify for the national spelling bee in Washington D.C.

"I kind of love the pressure," Shakson said. "It's like it helps me remember."

To prepare for the county level bee, Shakson said he will do more than just study his flashcards and take his online quizzes.

"I'm going to study the dictionary itself," he said. "I want to be as well prepared as I can be."

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