2016 Spelling Bee Winner

Sreeniketh Vogoti, a seventh-grade student at Fruit Cove Middle School, won the 2016 St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) Spelling Bee held yesterday at the Fullerwood Learning Center. He won by spelling the word “reprieve” correctly. Sreeniketh is the son of Padamja and Balasubramanyam Vogoti.

Thirty-two elementary and middle school students from 28 public and four private schools competed for the honor of representing St. Johns County in The Florida Times-Union Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 27 at the Jacksonville Main Public Library. If for any reason the winner is not able to attend, runner-up Mary Kathryn Reynolds of Ocean Palms Elementary School will represent the county.

It took 49 rounds for the winner to be determined. The participants were congratulated by School Board Members Beverly Slough and Kelly Barrera, Superintendent Joseph Joyner and Assistant Superintendent Martha Mickler.

WAOC 96.5 FM broadcasted the spelling bee live and streamed it on their website. Community Relations also taped the event.

The winner of the regional spelling bee will advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled in May in Washington, D.C.

Laurie Hays, SJCSD program specialist for Elementary Language Arts, served as the spelling bee coordinator and the pronouncer was Linda Villadoniga, retired SJCSD teacher. Judges for the event were Tommy Bledsoe, SJCSD program specialist; Cheryl Freeman, director of retired and senior volunteer program; Sandy Waldeis, community representative; and Laurie Hays.

The Spelling Bee will be broadcast on Saturday, January 16 at 6 p.m. on SEA TV channels 99 or 262.