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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 12, 2006

2005 state champ is district bee winner

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser Staff Writer

3 MORE TO GO

The remaining district spelling bees:

  • Thursday: Leeward District, Nanakuli High & Intermediate School, 6:30 p.m.

  • Feb. 21: Windward District, Le Jardin Academy, 6:30 p.m.

  • Feb. 25: Hawai'i District, Kamehameha Schools- Kea'au, 1 p.m.

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    After six rounds against her best friend, Jasmine Kaneshiro won the Honolulu District Spelling Bee yesterday.

    Yesterday's contest was a 16-round knuckle-biting affair where 38 competitors at the Sacred Hearts Academy auditorium vied for an opportunity to participate in the statewide competition next month.

    Jasmine, 14, who represented the Honolulu District last year and went to Washington for the national spelling contest, won yesterday by correctly spelling "catenate" which means to connect in a series of ties or links; to form into a chain.

    Without hesitation, the Hawai'i Baptist Academy eighth-grader correctly spelled the last word after her friend and Hawai'i Baptist schoolmate, Sara Dizon, misspelled "gadroon," which is a band of convex molding carved with ornamental beading or reeding.

    Laden with lei and balloons, Jasmine left later to celebrate her win and her birthday.

    "Spelling comes easily for me," she said.

    "I love to read a lot."

    Her parents are teachers at Ka'imiloa Elementary School.

    Jasmine taught most of the words to herself, said Dean Kaneshiro, her father.

    "She's a good reader and pays attention to words when she's reading," he said.

    "Every time I help her study, she has to help me pronounce the words."

    Jasmine and Sara will participate in The Honolulu Advertiser's 21st Hawai'i State Spelling Bee on March 26. The state bee will be aired on KFVE. The state champion earns a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 31-June 1 in Washington.

    "It was kind of scary," Sara said. "Especially at the end when it was me and Jasmine. I didn't study at all."

    State Rep. Lyla Berg, D-18th (Kahala, 'Aina Haina, Kuli'ou'ou), who presented the words to the students, said that spelling bees provide a tangible test to understanding American culture. Spelling bees also give students a clean shot at competence.

    "It gives the students a sense of accomplishment," Berg said.

    Reach Suzanne Roig at sroig@honoluluadvertiser.com.