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 Bernardo Heights Middle School 8th Grader Wins San Diego Countywide Spelling Bee

​For the third year in a row, a student from the Poway Unified School District has won the Countywide Spelling Bee. This year's champion is Julia Brown from Bernardo Heights Middle School.

The winning word was "Risorgimento," meaning a time of renewal or renaissance. Brown finished in second place in the 2005 Bee, runner-up to eventual National Spelling Bee champion Anurag Kashyap, who attended Meadowbrook Middle School in the Poway district.

Brown will now proceed to the National Spelling Bee, held annually in Washington, D.C.

The competition started off with 75 7th and 8th grade students from public and private schools throughout San Diego County. The last two contestants had to spell two words correctly in order to win the competition. The competition was held Tuesday, March 14 at the Scottish Rite Memorial Center in San Diego.

David Brown, proud father and Spelling Bee coach of the new champion said, "Julia has worked very hard to win this competition. She has studied countless hours, using various resources from the National Spelling Bee website. She is an avid reader and keeps her poise when on stage so that she can remain calm and collected throughout the competition. Julia's mother and I are very proud of her and expect her to do very well at the national level."

Finishing in second place in this year's Bee was Thurgood Marshall Middle School's Genevieve Hammang. "I really didn't take much time to practice and prepare for the competition. I'm very happy to have made it as far as I did." said Hammang.

As the Countywide Spelling Bee Champion, Brown will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and also receive a Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

The Countywide Spelling Bee is coordinated by the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego County Office of Education. The Spelling Bee will air on ITV Ch. 16 on Sunday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m.; Monday, March 20 at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday March 28 at 7:00 p.m.