Perfect 'attendance' for Leota at bee
Marina Leota of Wai'anae Intermediate School correctly spelled "attendance" in the 13th round last night to win the Leeward District Spelling Bee.
Leota, a seventh-grader, topped a field of 16 contestants at Lanakila Baptist High School in 'Ewa.
Leota and runner-up Charisse Agraan, a seventh-grader at Lanakila Baptist School, advance to the state spelling bee March 14 at Palikū Theatre at Windward Community College.
Leota and Agraan were the final two spellers. After Agraan misspelled "ethanol," Leota won it with "attendance." She is the daughter of Martin and Deborah Leota.
The state champion will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee June 2-4 in Washington, D.C.
Here is a list of other qualifiers for the state spelling bee, as well as the schedule of upcoming bees:
Kaua'i: Athena Abadilla (winner), St. Theresa School; Harmony Graziano, Kapa'a Middle School.
Windward: Maria Mesina (winner), St. Ann's Model School; Jordan Kauwe, Windward Nazarene Academy.
Central: Hannah Komar (winner), Our Savior Lutheran School; Brysen Pasion, Mililani Middle School.
Maui: Gabriel Salazar (winner), Maui Waena Intermediate School; Christopher Kim, Maui Waena.
Honolulu: Feb. 27, 2 p.m., Sacred Hearts Academy.
Big Island: Feb. 27, Hawai'i Preparatory Academy.