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Posted on: March 11, 2020

Belton 8th grader wins Cass County Spelling Bee

Esai Oquendo

Congratulations to Belton 8th grader Esai Oquendo, who won the Cass County Spelling Bee and qualified to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.!

Six spellers participated in the county Spelling Bee, which was hosted on March 11 by the Raymore-Peculiar School District. Esai correctly spelled "celestial" to win. The runner-up was sixth-grader Lauren Cross from Pleasant Hill.

The other competitors were Quincy Carter, seventh grade, Harrisonville School District; Sofia Dardour, sixth grade, Midway School District; McKayla Hoover, sixth grade, Home School; and Audrey Mitchell, eighth grade, Ray-Pec South Middle School.

As winner, Esai and a chaperone receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The prize includes airfare, lodging, meals, and a spending allowance. He also received a trophy and $50 Visa gift card from UMB Bank.

Lauren received a trophy and $25 gift card. The other spellers received a desk award.

Judges were Steve Cheslik, Cass County Treasurer; Chris Molendorp, Cass County Collector; and Jimmy Odom, Cass County Cass County Associate Commissioner. Joyce Webb, retired Library Media Specialist, was the pronouncer.


Pictured here: Ray-Pec Assistant Superintendent Dr. Al Voelker presents the trophy to winning speller Esai Oquendo. 

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