Metamorphosis. Ophthalmologist. Surveillance.

One of my good friends studies ophthalmology, and I learned just the other week that I was at least two letters away from spelling her field correctly in my mind. The first `h’ and the first `l’ really threw me for a loop. 

Those two consonants didn’t faze Trinh Huynh, of Westlake Middle School. Trinh took first place in the middle school division of the OUSD Spelling Bee with that very word. Linnea Gullikson, of Joaquin Miller, won the elementary division with “metamorphosis.” (Hopefully I’m spelling these words right. Writing about a spelling bee can really set you up for public humiliation…)

Anyone take photos at the event? Just send them to kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Here is a list of the winners of the 2009 OUSD Spelling Bee, and their schools. The top five will advance to the county bee:


Winning word – metamorphosis
Round 5 Words: referendum, lackadaisical, repertoire, egalitarian, ubiquitous
   (Repertoire spelled correctly by first place winner; other words misspelled)

• First Place – Linnea Gullikson – Joaquin Miller (trophy)

• Second Place – Chloe Killebrew-Bruehl – Peralta (rosette ribbon)

• Third Place – Brian Zheng – Laurel (ribbon)

• Fourth Place – Karl Keck– Chabot (ribbon)

• Fifth Place – Sienna Ruiz – Kaiser (ribbon)

• Sixth Place – Mariana Arreola – Learning without Limits

• Seventh Place – Edgar Cedillo – International Community

• Eighth Place – Lyla Phan – Fruitvale


Winning word: ophthalmologist
Round Five Words: surveillance, rendezvous, ubiquitous, and renaissance
 (attempted but missed)

• First Place – Trinh Huynh– Westlake Middle School (trophy)

• Second Place – Mariam Bocalan – United for Success Academy (rosette ribbon)

• Third Place – Emily DeLuna – Alliance Academy (ribbon)

• Fourth Place – Kim Alvarez – Urban Promise Academy (ribbon)

• Fifth Place – Sasha Petterson– Claremont Middle School (ribbon)

• Sixth Place – Pamela Ignacio– Westlake Middle School

• Seventh Place – Heilala Paea  – Coliseum College Prep

• Eighth Place – Maya Andino – Edna Brewer Middle School

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Javier

    Is there not a high school version of this, or do all these kids jump ship to o dowd.

  • Mr. Ellison

    I was at the spelling bee. Very fun but had a heart attack when the first participant spelled pencil…p…i….n…c…..i…..l
    but it got better from there.

  • Katy Murphy

    I always thought spelling bees were for younger kids, but maybe I’m wrong.

  • Nextset

    Katy: The Spelling Bees serve a similar purpose as Drama – they are a competition, they are public speaking, they require and promote skills in reading, verbalization, vocal skills, etc. Plus they give the parents an opportunity to show up and cheer.

    It’s interesting to me to see the foreign immigrants moving to the forefront here. I don’t see “black” names in the list of students. Where are the Nigerians? Our public schools need to build this up as a “Sport”. It fits neatly into the slimmer budgets.

    In another year, the public school football money will be gone and I hope the cheerleaders shift over to the lower costing Spelling Bees.

    Go team, Go!

  • Debora

    Linnea Gullickson is one of our students. She is interesting and interested. She is one of those students that Nextset refers to about public speaking skills. She’s a little on the shy side, you wouldn’t necessarily peg her as a leader. But, if you take the time to get to know her, you find an articulate, bright, kind person who is just the kind of leader that makes you want to join her.

    Congratulations Linnea! Our school is very proud of you for your accomplishment and for being the very person you are to your friends, classmates, parents and teachers.

  • Anon

    Not sure if the OUSD bee sends its spellers on to the regional/national bees or not, but for the national Scripps Howard bee, the cutoff is grade eight, so most schools don’t allow students older than that to compete.

  • Alison

    Glad to see that you covered the spelling bee–are you going to cover the Jazz Fest at Oakland Tech on Thursday at 6:30? I’ve heard it’s a great concert!

  • Katy Murphy

    Thanks for bringing that up, Alison. I’ve actually asked a parent for details so that I could put them on the blog before the concert. If you have a list of participating schools, feel free to send them to me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

    If you or someone else plans to take photos, I can post them as well, afterward.