Nyssa sixth-grader repeats as Malheur County Spelling Bee champ

Nyssa sixth-grader Cadi Corn is a two-time Malheur County Spelling Bee champion after winning the sixth-grade and overall contests last Friday. (The Enterprise/Kristine de Leon)

NYSSA – Sixth-grader Cadi Corn out-spelled 81 other students in Grades 1-8 from public and independent schools throughout the county to win the third annual Malheur County Spelling Bee.

The event was held last Friday at Nyssa Elementary.

Cadi, who attends Nyssa Middle School, said she felt good going into the competition this year.

“Before the grade-level one, I was pretty confident that I was going to win because I won last year,” said Cadi, who was the 2018 countywide spelling bee champion.

However, she was getting a little nervous as the competition neared the final round.

“As soon as I watched the eighth grade one, I wasn’t sure if I was going to win. I was really, really nervous in the final bee.”

Eight spellers from each grade entered the championship round after competing within their grade levels at the Spelling Bee.

When the contest narrowed down to just two spellers, one had to spell two words correctly to be declared the overall winner.

Cadi took the top spot for correctly spelling “mantis,” a type of carnivorous insect closely related to cockroaches and termites.

Runner-up Diego Chavolla-Ortiz, an eighth-grader from Ontario Middle School, gave her a window to win the bee by missing the word “illicitly” during the 15th round of the overall championships match.

Diego took second place overall, followed by seventh-grader Aliciana Lopez of Four Rivers Community School and first-grader Estefania Torres-Escobedo of Aiken Elementary.

With her win, Cadi will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee later this year.

“I did not get to go to last year’s nationals because we didn’t have the funding to be directly affiliated with Scripps, so I went into a random drawing and I did not get picked,” she said.

Cadi’s parents and brother plan to accompany her to the east coast.


The top three spellers and their schools for each grade at this year’s Malheur County Spelling Bee include:

Grade 1 – Estefania Torres-Escobedo, Aiken; Will Garcia, Alameda; and Sebastian Martinez, Four Rivers.

Grade 2 – Anita Gomez-Meza, Alameda; Liam Grove, St. Peter; and Ricky Rodelo, Nyssa.

Grade 3 – Katalina Ramirez, Aiken; Violet Gonzales, St. Peter; and Brodin Bundy, Cairo.

Grade 4 – Kendra Johnson, Treasure Valley Christian; Trevin Draper, Cairo; and Colin Mulvany.

Grade 5 – Ariel Martinez, Four Rivers; Ashlyn Hung, St. Peter; and London Echeverria, Annex.

Grade 6 – Cadi Corn, Nyssa; Claire Collins, Jordan Valley; and Georgie Rodriguez, Alameda.

Grade 7 – Aliciana Lopez, Four Rivers; Cara Zacharias, Vale; and Keighlee Glover, Nyssa.

Grade 8 – Diego Chavolla-Ortiz, Ontario; Eli Mendieta, Vale; and Ava Shaw, Annex.

Liam Grove, a second-grader at St. Peter Catholic School, high fives the Bee.

Estefania Torres-Escobedo (right), a first-grader at Aiken Elementary, gets a first-place medal for winning the first grade spelling contest.

The top three finishers of each grader class receive medals at the Spelling Bee.

Aliciana Lopez, a seventh-grader at Four Rivers Community School, finished in first-place in the grade level contest.

Diego Chavolla-Ortiz, an eighth-grader at Ontario Middle School, spells his way to the championship finals round. Chavolla-Ortiz took first in his grad class and finished second-place overall.

Treasure Valley Christian fourth-grader Kendra Johnson (left) and third-grader Violet Gonzales from St. Peter Catholic watch their fellow spellers battle it out in the championship round. Johnson and Gonzales took first-place in their respective grade level.

Eli Medieta, an eighth-grader at Vale Middle School, spelled his way to second place in his class level competition.

Nyssa’s Keighlee Glover took third-place in the seventh-grade contest at the Spelling Bee.

Aiken first-grader Estefania Torres-Escobedo not only finished in first-place in her class level contest, but she also placed fourth overall at the countywide Spelling Bee.

Trevin Draper from Cairo Elementary placed second in the fourth grade spelling contest.

Alameda second-grader Anita Gomez-Meza spells her way to the championships round at the Malheur County Spelling Bee.

Jordan Valley’s Claire Collins (right) and Alameda’s Georgie Rodriguez placed second and third, respectively, in the sixth-grade spelling contest.

Two-time spelling bee champion Cadi Corn, a sixth-grader at Nyssa, poses with her family after the awards ceremony of the third annual Malheur County Spelling Bee.

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