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 Justin Song, Carmel Valley Middle School 7th Grader Wins Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee

Justin Song a 7th grade student from the San Dieguito Union High School District has won the 38th Annual San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee. Song attends Carmel Valley Middle School.

The winning word was “Hypothalamus” meaning a part of the brain involved in controlling the release of hormones from the pituitary gland. Last year, as a student at Don Juan Avila Middle School in Aliso Viejo, Song won the Orange County Register Spelling Bee. He will now proceed to the National Spelling Bee, held in Washington, D.C. May 30 and 31.

The San Diego County competition started with 80 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 13, 2007 at the Scottish Rite Memorial Center in San Diego.

“I enjoy reading a lot and I think that’s what helped me win today,” said Song.

This year’s runner up, from Potter Jr. High School in Fallbrook, is Matthew Shuster. “I really was not that nervous when I was up there. I just blocked everything out and focused on the words,” said Shuster.

Wei-Jei Song, proud father of Justin Song said, ”Justin’s mother has been the one coaching him for this competition. He has worked very hard studying for this event and I am very proud of him. Ever since he was six years old he showed interest in spelling. Overall he is a good student.”

As the Countywide Spelling Bee Champion, Song 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 18 at 7:00 p.m., March 22 at 6:00 p.m., and March 25 at 3:00 p.m..