Windward Spellers At State Bee Saturday

Windward Oahu is sending two of its best spellers to the Hawaii State Spelling Bee, which will be televised live from the PBS Hawaii studio at 7 p.m. Saturday (with a simulcast on ESPN 1500 AM radio).

Among the 14 contestants who have weathered preliminary rounds over the current school year, area private school students Hayley Dietrich of Le Jardin Academy in Kailua and Maya McGarry of St. Ann’s Model School in Kaneohe rose above others in the district. Dietrich is an eighth-grader and McGarry a seventh-grader.

The winner of Saturday’s spelling bee will represent the state at the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 29-31 near Washington, D.C. The local competition is open to all students from grades 4 through 8, and the nonprofit aio Foundation has sponsored it for the past three years.

“We have been thrilled to see participation and the level of talent increase every year,” said aio president Susan Eichor.

“Since publishing is one of our areas of business, we are proud to support initiatives that promote education and literacy in Hawaii.

“We are also grateful for the generous support from our community partners who help make this event a success.”

The foundation also supports the VEX Robotics competition and created the Young Messengers of Hawaii contest.