Congratulations to the winners of the sixth annual Pat McKaye Spelling Bee, produced by the Cayucos Education Foundation. For the first time, the final competition was held in front of the entire student body.
Victoria Dandurand, who was co-chairwoman with Kim Philips, told the audience that the students competing on stage were all winners because they were the top spellers from their classrooms who made it to the final competition.
In order of first-, second- and third-place awards, the honorees were:
- Second grade: Angus McNellie, Samantha Sweeney, Rylee Garcia.
- Third grade: Jace Hudgens, Amelia Bircher, Jaime Barajas.
- Fourth grade: Cody Howard, Kian Avellar, Amy Busch.
- Fifth grade: Pierce Howard, Kai Zavala, Lyle Hanft.
- Sixth, seventh, eighth grades: Evan Clark (seventh), Lani Krossa (eighth), Nick Bircher (sixth).
Before Pat McKaye died in 2012, she was an active board member of the Cayucos Seniors Club and constant advocate for the school’s music program.
Her early education was in Iowa, where she represented her school in the Iowa State Spelling Bee. The competition between the last two contenders was so intense the judges ultimately asked the students to write their words. McKaye said she doubted herself on the word “potato” and lost the competition.
As a lasting tribute to McKaye, her family and the Cayucos Seniors Club worked with former Cayucos Education Foundation chairman Elaine Thompson to create the spelling bee. Representing the Cayucos Seniors Club at the 2015 Spelling Bee was board member Betsy Watts.
Cayucos Education Foundation chairman David Nilmeier said the mission of the group is to provide funding for the arts, music and technologies programs.
“This year, we have contributed about one-third of the total amount needed to procure Chrome books for the middle-school students,” he said. “Our goal for this year is $30,000, and we have achieved over half of that amount so far.”
Other board members include David Riester, secretary; Cary Maffioli, treasurer; Anne Hubbard, principal; and directors Dick Moon, Ronda Hon, Bonnie Lewis, Dandurand and Kim Phillips.
Besides See’s Candies sales and proceeds donated from Nilmeier’s square-dance classes held regularly at the school, the foundation will host a community rummage sale at the school July 25. The foundation also will hold a square-dance and basic country line-dance event Aug. 16.
Board members also are selling tickets to win two tickets for a Disneyland Resort package. For more information and reservations, go to www.Cayucos Fun.Info or call 995-3599.