Aisha Randhawa Seeking Third Consecutive Title at Riverside County Spelling Bee

Aisha Randhawa

Aisha Randhawa, two year Riverside County Spelling Bee champion, returns to the Bee with 27 top spellers on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

RIVERSIDE – After being named champion at the 2016 and 2017 events, Corona-Norco Unified School District seventh grade student Aisha Randhawa is among the field of 28 spellers from Riverside County charter schools, private schools, and school districts that will compete at the 41st Annual Riverside County Spelling Bee at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center (14075 Frederick Street, Moreno Valley, CA 92553).

The winner of the bee will earn a spot in the 91st Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland from May 27 through June 2, 2018.

Other notable aspects of the 41st Annual Riverside County Spelling Bee:

  • This year’s event features six spellers with previous experience at the county spelling bee. St. Jeanne de Lestonnac’s Michael Mistica will compete for the fifth time since originally appearing as a fourth grade student in 2014. Aisha Randhawa joins Hannah Dela Cruz from River Springs Charter School as participants for the fourth time while Desert Center Unified School District’s Nathan Marth will be making his third appearance. Danielle Paisley (Santa Rosa Academy), Hope Edwards (San Jacinto USD), and Illasell Tan (Lake Elsinore USD) will be back after first competing in 2017.
  • In 2017, Aisha Randhawa was the first repeat winner since Ginny Wu from Corona-Norco Unified was named champion in 2004 and 2006. If she emerges as the winner in 2018, she will be the first three-time champion in Riverside County Spelling Bee history.
  • Spelling bee participants study their word lists in unique ways. Danni Rae Dill, a fifth grade student from Margaret White Elementary School (Palo Verde USD) said “I love to read and enjoyed studying my spelling words especially when jumping on my trampoline.” Hannah Dela Cruz from River Springs Charter School said “I simultaneously study the spelling list while playing the piano. Surprisingly, both my skills are strengthened.”
  • Reasons for participating in the bee vary from student to student. Elijah Tran from Boulder Ridge Elementary School (Romoland School District) entered the bee, in part, because “one of my teachers died and he really believed I could go all the way.” Nathan Marth from Desert Center USD participates because “The spelling bee has helped me gain confidence because I am very shy.”

The full list of participants at the 41st Annual Riverside County Spelling Bee includes: (* represents alternate)

Alvord USD

Angelique Garcia, Wells Middle School – Grade 6
*Samantha Cervantes, Myra Linn Elementary School – Grade 5

Banning USD

Eric Vazquez, Nicolet Middle School – Grade 6
*Rana Smith, Nicolet Middle School – Grade 7

Beaumont USD

Orlando Salas, Anna Hause Elementary School – Grade 5
*Victoria Senduk, Tournament Hills Elementary School – Grade 5

Coachella Valley USD

Stephanie De La Rosa, Toro Canyon Middle School – Grade 7
*Ismael Herrera, Coral Mountain Academy – Grade 6

Corona-Norco USD

Aisha Randhawa, Auburndale Intermediate School – Grade 7
*Kavya Kadakia, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School – Grade 5

Desert Center USD

Nathan Marth, Eagle Mountain School – Grade 6
*Samantha McDaniel, Eagle Mountain School – Grade 6

Desert Sands USD

Jaeden Tolete, Ronald Reagan Elementary School – Grade 4
*Mia Garcia, John Glenn Middle School – Grade 6

Hemet USD

Aileen Luke, Western Center Academy – Grade 7
*Ahnika Peña, Western Center Academy – Grade 8

Highland Academy Charter School

Rishabh Nayak, Highland Academy Charter School – Grade 7
*Nathan Bishop, Highland Academy Charter School – Grade 7

Lake Elsinore USD

Illasell Tan, Cottonwood Canyon Elementary School – Grade 5
*David Schneider, Donald Graham Elementary School – Grade 5

Menifee Union SD

Ben Del Rio, Herk Bouris Elementary School – Grade 5
*Ruben Agpalo, Menifee Valley Middle School – Grade 7

Moreno Valley USD

Jadelyn Hernandez, Vista Heights Middle School – Grade 8
*Swetha Jayasinghe, Cloverdale Elementary School – Grade 4

Murrieta Valley USD

Joshua Velez, Cole Canyon Elementary School – Grade 5
*Gina Namkung, Thompson Middle School – Grade 6

Nuview Union SD

Evan Rayburn, Mountain Shadows Middle School – Grade 7
*Vanessa Jaramillo, Mountain Shadows Middle School – Grade 7

Palm Springs USD

Aden Bambao, James Workman Middle School – Grade 6
*Francis Go, Sunny Sands Elementary School – Grade 5

Palo Verde USD

Danni Rae Dill, Margaret White Elementary School – Grade 5
*Jezabell Flores, Margaret White Middle School – Grade 8

Pechanga School

Kaiden Harriman, Pechanga School – Grade 4

Perris Union High SD

Kayla Rosales, California Military Institute – Grade 6
*Jaiheim Grant, California Military Institute – Grade 6

River Springs Charter School

Hannah Dela Cruz, River Springs Charter School – Grade 8

Romoland SD

Elijah Tran, Boulder Ridge Elementary School – Grade 5
*William Johnson, Ethan A. Chase Middle School – Grade 7

San Jacinto USD

Hope Edwards, San Jacinto Leadership Academy – Grade 6
*Yvette Vargas, San Jacinto Leadership Academy – Grade 7

Santa Rosa Academy

Danielle Paisley, Santa Rosa Academy – Grade 8
*Divy Nallamothu, Santa Rosa Academy – Grade 4

St. Jeanne de Lestonnac

Michael Mistica, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac – Grade 8
*Alexander Santiago, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac School – Grade 7

Temecula International Academy

Connor Sueda, Temecula International Academy – Grade 6
*Sophie Dornic, Temecula International Academy – Grade 5

Temecula Preparatory School

Luke Oberemok, Temecula Preparatory School – Grade 5
*Nathaniel Crook, Temecula Preparatory School – Grade 7

Temecula Valley USD

Faizan Niazi, Temecula Middle School – Grade 7
*Francis Yabut, Luiseno Elementary School – Grade 5

Val Verde USD

Saida Guinea, March Middle School – Grade 8
*Cherish Adams, Lakeside Middle School – Grade 8

Van Avery Preparatory School

Charys Hong, Van Avery Preparatory School – Grade 6
*Audrey Paik, Van Avery Preparatory School – Grade 8