A Corona eighth-grader Tuesday claimed an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory in the Riverside County Spelling Bee, winning the title of champion speller and a spot at the national bee in May.
Aisha Randhawa from Auburndale Intermediate School in the Corona-Norco Unified School District took top honors after 30 rounds of spelling at the Moreno Valley Conference & Recreation Center.
Dartmouth Middle School eighth-grader Ernie Ordaniel, representing the Hemet Unified School District, made it into the final round with Aisha, giving her the edge after he misspelled "innumerable," according to county Office of Education spokesman Craig Petinak.
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He said Aisha correctly spelled "accusatory," and then clinched the title with her accurate spelling of "authoritarianism."
A total of 29 youths in grades 4-8 competed in the 42nd annual bee.
Ernie took second place, while seventh-grader Hope Edwards of the San Jacinto Leadership Academy in the San Jacinto Unified School District came in third, and fourth-grader Dylan Lee from the Washington Charter School in the Desert Sands Unified School District came in fourth.
Aisha will represent the county in the 92nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, set for May 26-31 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. It will be her fourth appearance.
Students from public schools competed with their peers from charter and private schools in the county event.