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 Alex Kahng from Earl Warren Middle School is the 2010 Spelling Bee Champion

​After misspelling six out of eight words in the car ride to the Spelling Bee, Alex Kahng, an 8th grader from Earl Warren Middle School in the San Dieguito Union High District, still managed to win the 2010 San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee.

The 13-year-old correctly spelled the winning word “Nexus” meaning a connected series or group. Kahng will now proceed to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., scheduled for June 2-4.

“I’m very excited to win the competition,” said Kahng. “I studied for this a couple hours every day, so it’s nice to see my hard work pay off.”

The 41st annual competition began with eighty-six 7th and 8th grade students from public and private schools throughout San Diego County. The final three contestants, Kahng, Rochelle Marifosque from the SD School of Creative and Performing Arts and Nicole-Ann Lobo from Aviara Oaks Middle School, challenged their brain cells over eight rounds before Kahng spelled the winning word.

During the championship round each contestant was required to spell two words correctly in order to win. Both Marifosque and Lobo spelled one word incorrectly, which tied them for the runner up position.

The spelling bee was held March 24 at the Old Town Theatre in San Diego.

According to runner up Marifosque, a 7th grader from the San Diego Unified School District, she worked very hard to win the competition. “To prepare for the competition I studied all the time,” said Marifosque. “I even used the words in short stories I’ve written and when I couldn’t sleep at night I would study. I’ll try again next year.”

Son Young Kahng, proud mother of Alex Kahng, was thrilled after the competition. “I am so proud of Alex,” said Son Kahng. “He worked so hard studying his words daily and asking my husband to quiz him. Considering his passion is math, I would say he did very well today.”

“I was very nervous coming into the competition,” said Kahng. “I honestly wasn’t one-hundred percent confident that I would win so this is very exciting!”

During his spare time Kahng enjoys playing table tennis and learning all there is to know about math.

The Countywide Spelling Bee is coordinated by the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego County Office of Education. For more information on the Bee go to or