Three HR students head to Oregon Statewide Spelling Championships

Sean Counihan, Rhys Newton, and Lillian Ontiveros, all of Hood River, will be representing Hood River County this year at the Oregon Statewide Spelling Championship. The championship will have 63 spellers coming from 27 counties in Oregon to challenge their spelling skills at the Oregon State Fair in Salem on Saturday, Sept. 2. KOIN 6‘s Andrew Dymburt will be the master of ceremonies. Championships will run from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Students competing in the championship have won their school, district, and county written spelling contests. This is the ninth year Oregon Spellers has sponsored the Oregon Statewide Spelling Championship.

Oregon Spellers is an all-volunteer group funded solely by donations and sponsored by the Oregon Association for Talented and Gifted (

Oregon Spellers was formed after the Oregon Department of Education ended their support for the spelling contest in 2009. Local and regional coordinators are sought to expand the program to areas not currently participating. For more information, please check out their website at

Following the Championship, Dymburt will also emcee “The Bee at the Fair” — a ‘just for fun’ verbal spelling bee sponsored by Oregon Spellers, at 2:30 p.m. (junior division) and 3:30 p.m. (teen/adult). The bee is open to all Oregon State Fair patrons.

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