STEM2 Preparatory student named District Spelling Bee Champion


Fifteen students from all HCISD middle schools competed at the annual District Middle School Spelling Bee on February 4.

This year, the event was held virtually with contestants participating from their respective campuses.

“Our students would walk up to the laptop that was connected to the Zoom and spell for the judges when their number was called,” STEM2 Preparatory Campus Spelling Bee sponsor Brittany Johnson said. “They all wore masks, so the biggest challenge was being able to speak loudly and clearly into the microphone so that there were no discrepancies in the spelling of the word.”

Leila Canales, a seventh-grader from STEM2 Preparatory Academy was named District Champion and eighth grader, Owen Dorman from STEM2 Preparatory Academy was named runner-up. Canales and Dorman will both represent HCISD at the 33rd Annual Rio Grande Valley Regional Spelling Bee on March 6.

“The word that I won with was delicacy,” Canales said. “To me, it is pretty surreal and mind boggling. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it [being named District Champion]. I truly am honored. I would like to thank my family for helping me study and for all of their love and encouragement. I would also like to thank all of my friends and teachers for rooting me on.”

The winner of the Rio Grande Regional Spelling Bee will have the opportunity to advance to the National Spelling Bee held in June 2021.

“I am so proud of all of our students and their hard work in studying a massive word list on top of the rigorous requirements placed on them academically every day,” Johnson said.


2021 HCISD Spelling Bee Participants

 Vincent Tapia                                     Coakley Middle School

Aryanna Renteria                               Coakley Middle School

Christian Chino                                   Coakley Middle School (STEM2)

Bianca M. Rios                                   Gutierrez Middle School

Zachary Gonzalez Lamar                   Gutierrez Middle School

Cecilia Rodriguez                               Gutierrez Middle School (STEM2)

Julianne Pacheco                               Memorial Middle School

Natalia Moreno                                   Memorial Middle School

Leila Canales                                      Memorial Middle School (STEM2)

Kyah Walker                                       Vela Middle School

Samuel Castillo                                  Vela Middle School

Owen Dorman                                    Vela Middle School (STEM2)

Lola Tamez                                         Vernon Middle School

Akira Villarreal                                   Vernon Middle School

Olivia Luna                                         Vernon Middle School (STEM2)




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