BMS student ganó Spanish spelling bee

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In a few quick steps, she walked up to the black microphone, held the dry erase board and marker in her hand and stood over a nearby desk ready to spell.

Abigail R. Ortiz-News-Bulletin photo: The Belen students who took the top three slots in Friday’s Belen Schools Spanish Spelling Bee were, from left, eighth-grader Yhari Martinez from Belen Middle School, first place; seventh-grader Mayra Janzen from BMS, second place; and sixth-grader Daniela Linares from Gil Sanchez Elementary School, who took third place.

Belen Middle School eighth-grader Yhari Martinez had finished spelling “aterrizaje,” which her opponent Mayra Janzen had misspelled, during Friday’s Belen Consolidated Schools Spanish Spelling Bee.

The two students faced off for four championship rounds, where they bounced back and forth between spelling words, such as “ahuyentar” and “actinomicosis,” while the PA system buzzed on and off.

Standing between Martinez and her second time in a row to win the Spanish Spelling Bee was one word.

“Barbitúrico. B-A-R-B-I-T-U con acento agudo-R-I-C-O. Barbitúrico,” said the Belen Middle School student in a low voice.

Martinez and Janzen, a seventh-grader at BMS, are headed to the New Mexico State Spanish Spelling Bee, hosted by the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education.

The two will compete their way to the top on Saturday, April 13, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Martinez’s strategy for the state competition is the same as it was for the school and district Spanish spelling bee.

“Practice,” said the girl with a yellow card hanging from her neck calling her participant “No. 1.” “I have my parents and family ask me words in my free time.”

From the 43 participants in the spelling bee, more than half of them were eliminated in the first round for forgetting to mention accent marks over the proper letter. A few forgot to mention a capitalized letter during the competition.

Students, ranging from fourth through eighth grade, asked the “pronunciadora” to “repetir la palabra, definiciónes y oraciónes,” to give hints in spelling the word. After 10 rounds, Martinez and Janzen were the two left out of seven Belen schools.

“I can look at you guys and tell you’re good spellers,” said Geneva Nixon, director of curriculum and instruction, to the parents, teachers and students in attendance. “It shows how bright and smart you are.”

The students who came in at the top 10 slots were fifth-grader Leonardo Corral, Central Elementary School, 10th place; sixth-grader Anay Mendez Ruiz, Gil Sanchez Elementary School, ninth place; sixth-grader Michelle Aguirre, La Promesa Elementary School, eighth place; fourth-grader Victor Eduardo Varela, La Promesa, seventh place; fifth-grader Sebastian Sanchez, La Promesa, sixth grade; eighth-grader Angel Aguilera, BMS, fifth place; sixth- grader Maria Rodriguez, La Promesa, fourth place; sixth-grader Daniela Linarea, Gil Sanchez, third place; Janzen in second place and Martinez in first place.


-- Email the author at aortiz@news-bulletin.com.