Seventy students from elementary and middle school dual-language classes from 23 different schools competed in the Las Cruces Public Schools Spanish Spelling Bee, hosted in the Oñate High School Performing Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 15.

Manuel Madrid from Highland Elementary School spelling his next word in the LCPS Spanish Spelling Bee.

Gabriel Garcia Umbarita from Loma Heights Elementary School spelled the winning word, “zancadilla,” to take first place in the contest. Danna Silvestre from Lynn Middle School won second place in the competition, and Manuel Madrid from Highland Elementary placed third.

“Events like this give us a reason to celebrate academic achievement and the diversity of our community,” said Superintendent Greg Ewing. “It was clear that all of the participants studied hard for this day, and their impressive showing reflects well on their amazing teachers.”

(L-R) Bernardo López Casas, LCPS Regional Migrant Recruiter, Jaime Calderón, LCPS Executive Director & Senior Advisor to the Superintendent & Board of Education, and Lorena Ancira, LCPS Content Specialist for EL Bilingual/Migrant Education, judged the LCPS Spanish Spelling Bee at Oñate High School on Feb. 15, 2019.

Judges for the event included:

  • Jaime Calderón, LCPS Executive Director & Senior Advisor to the Superintendent & Board of Education
  • Lorena Ancira, LCPS Content Specialist, EL Bilingual/Migrant Education
  • Bernardo López Casas, LCPS Regional Migrant Recruiter, Bilingual/Migrant Education.
Gabriel Garcia Umbarita from Loma Heights Elementary School, Danna Silvestre from Lynn Middle School, and Manuel Madrid from Highland Elementary stand for photos with contest judges, staff, and Terrie Dallman, LCPS Board of Education Vice President.

The pronouncer for the event was Patricia MacGregor-Mendoza, professor of Spanish and Linguistics at New Mexico State University. The spelling bee was organized by Jennifer Haan, LCPS executive director for dual language and migrant education, Ignosencia Campos, LCPS coordinator of bilingual/migrant education, and Rosalinda Carreón-Altamirano, LCPS migrant liaison for secondary programs.

Guests of honor for the event included Superintendent Greg Ewing and Roberto Lozano, chief officer of Equity, Innovation & Social Justice for the district.

— Samantha Lewis, LCPS Public Relations Coordinator, 575-527-5946, slewis@lcps.net