Valencia School fifth-grader wins Spanish spelling bee

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Valencia School fifth-grader Yacaranday De la Torre enjoyed participating in the Spanish Spelling Bee.

Winning it Wednesday and advancing to state finals was even more fun.

“I enjoy studying and spelling the words,” De la Torre said.

This was Torre’s second time participating in the bee. It was sponsored by Portales Municipal Schools, and De la Torre moves on to the state spelling bee April 24 in Albuquerque. It is part of 50/50 dual language program in which students learn English and Spanish in the classroom.

Torre’s mother, Carmen De la Torre, said her daughter spends a lot of time studying and that sometimes she has to make her stop.

“She is a very good student and works very hard when she studies,” De la Torre said. “She worked very hard for this not only for herself, but for the other students as an example that they can reach a goal.”

Spanish Spelling Bee runner-up Anahi Gonzales, a fourth-grader from Valencia Elementary, said she enjoyed learning the new the words. Gonzales and the other contestants would write down the word that someone else was spelling just in case the speller missed it.

“We write down the words so that if they miss it we can spell that word and win,” Gonzales said.

“I think it is a wonderful experience for the students in the Spanish Spelling Bee,” Valencia teacher Becky Duran said. “They learn a lot and standout. They show their peers that they can do it.”

Spanish Spelling Bee winner — Yacaranday De la Torre, fifth-grader, Valencia Elementary School.

Spanish Spelling Bee runnerup — Anahi Gonzales, fourth-grader, Valencia Elementary School.