Are you able to spell “arteriosclerosis”? Me neither, but Hidden Valley Elementary School fourth grader Varnika Kailish nailed it.

Kailish spelled both arteriosclerosis and vacillate to win the Sonoma County Elementary School Spelling Bee earlier this month. Second place went to Olivet Charter School sixth grader Ellie Radmore. Third place was Maki Mizutani, a sixth grader from Brook Haven School in Sebastopol and fourth place was Isabella Smithson, a fifth grader from Proctor Terrace Elementary in Santa Rosa.

In the junior high competition (for seventh through ninth graders), Ellie Packard from Sonoma Country Day School won by spelling “laureate” and “dissertation” correctly. Second place went to Moses Ost of Orchard View Charter School in Sebastopol. Third place was Lillian Aff from Guerneville School and Cicero Faur de Oliveira from Hillcrest Middle School in Sebastopol took fourth.

The top two spellers in each division are eligible to advance to the state competition at their grade level. The elementary competition is April 20 in Stockton and the junior high contest is May 11 in San Rafael.

The competitors in the competitions were:


Sonoma County Elementary Spelling Championship

Place Student School

1 Varnika Kailish Hidden Valley School

2 Ellie Radmore Olivet Charter School

3 Maki Mizutani Brook Haven School

4 Isabella Smithson Proctor Terrace School

5 Elias Sisneros Dunham Charter School

6 Priscilla Yi Windsor Christian Academy

7 Alex Margand Grant School

8 Alessi Beeson Alexander Valley School

9 Andrea Villegas Douglas L. Whited School

10 Camille Flynn Grant School

11 Devin Hoopes Miwok Valley School

12 Rebekah Pehur Waldo Rohnert School

13 Brodi Harris Morrice Schaefer Charter School

14 Julie Cao Sheppard Accelerated School

15 Nathaniel Merhav Orchard View Charter School

16 Lillian Ling Altimira Middle School

17 Justin Scannell Miwok Valley School

18 Jonah Hatt Guerneville School

19 Dana Colvin Washington School


Sonoma County Junior High Spelling Championship

Place Student School

1 Ellie Packard Sonoma Country Day School

2 Moses Ost Orchard View Charter School

3 Lillian Aff Guerneville School

4 Cicero Faur de Oliveira Hillcrest Middle School

5 James Henderson Rincon Valley Middle School

6 Eve Kruger St. Luke Lutheran Elementary School

7 Enzio Schoffer Brook Haven School

8 Jamie Park Rincon Valley Middle School

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9 Miles Vinson Brook Haven School

10 Julian Avila Roseland Collegiate Prep

11 Cassie Martinez Mary Collins at Cherry Valley Charter School

12 Taylor Curtis Altimira Middle School

13 Josef Chanin-Meiers Hillcrest Middle School

14 Marlon Morrell Brush Creek Montessori School

15 Zachary McGunagle Harvest Christian School

16 Ryan O’Toole Orchard View Charter School

17 Ramon Santiago Roseland Accelerate Middle School

18 Emma Donoho Windsor Christian Academy

19 Acacia Mueller Salmon Creek: A Charter School

20 Cole Dexter Sonoma Country Day School

21 Ross Thorsen Santa Rosa Charter School

22 Bailey Coffey Guerneville School

23 Robert Kramer Windsor Christian Academy

24 Daniel Downey Mary Collins at Cherry Valley Charter School

25 Jack Roney The Healdsburg School

26 Noelle Heron Salmon Creek: A Charter School

27 Zack Welch Healdsburg Junior High School

28 Edgar Reyes Washington School

29 Anthony Vega Roseland Accelerate Middle School

30 Jocelyn Magner Forestville Academy

31 Rene Rodriguez Altimira Middle School

32 David Soriano Washington School

33 Carlos Cervantes Healdsburg Junior High School

34 Hannah Young Forestville Academy