East Los Angeles College nursing student Unique Starlene Hernandez was named the 2012 Miss Commerce at Saturday’s pageant competition held at Steven’s Steakhouse.
The nineteen year old daughter of Brenda Diaz and Joe Hernandez was joined by her court of five princesses: Miss Fourth of July Jannine Mancilla, 20, who is studying to become an environmental engineer; Miss Dodgers Alyssa Brianna Rubio, 17, a student at Montebello High School; Miss Galaxy Karely Ramirez, 21, who is studying to be a teacher; Miss Cinco de Mayo Amanda Marie Alvarado, 19, who wants to work in public relations for nonprofits; and Miss Friendship Jennifer Guadalupe Mendoza, 20, who aspires to become an emergency room doctor.
Ernesto Covarrubias was also named as the 2012 Young Man of the Year.
Macy Intermediate sixth grader Mitchell Saisho out-spelled fellow competitor and Bell Gardens Intermediate student Stephany Morales during the final rounds of a two-hour spelling bee competition held by the Montebello Unified School District on Feb. 22.
Saisho correctly spelled “diligence,” then clinched the win by spelling the bonus word “disengage.”
Saisho and Morales, also a sixth grader, were the last two standing in a field of 46 fourth through sixth grade students from around the district. Each received trophies for their accomplishments.
Saisho is eligible to move on to the Los Angeles county competition on Mar. 28, to be held at Almansor Court in Alhambra. The winner of that competition will represent the county at the state level in April. Morales would serve as the alternate if Saisho is unable to take part in the county competition.
“We would like to congratulate all of the students that competed at our annual District Spelling Bee, especially Mitchell Saisho for emerging as a champion from a very competitive field,” MUSD Board of Education President Hector Chacon said. “We would like to thank all the parents, teachers and staff for the work they put in to make this another huge success.”
During the competition, which was held at Bell Gardens Intermediate, the students kept their nerves in check, remaining calm throughout most of the event, while the audience provided a supportive environment, according to Student and Parent Support Services Coordinator Silvia Krespan, who served as the spelling bee director.
Competitors also displayed a high level of sportsmanship. “There were not too many tears. At the beginning [in the early years the spelling bee was held] there were lots of tears. Now it’s becoming more of a culture… the sportsmanship the children have is very good,” Krespan said.
The annual spelling bee event is organized by the district’s Curriculum and Instructional K-8/English Learner Program. Saisho and Morales will also be honored at the April 5th school board meeting.
Garfield High School will be making its second consecutive appearance in a City Section boys basketball championship game, as the second-seeded Bulldogs (26-6) take on No. 1 El Camino Real (21-7) for the Division II title at 8 p.m. Friday at the Roybal Learning Center.
Key baskets by Frankie Aguilar in the game’s final minute helped Garfield get past Granada Hills, 60-58, in a semifinal last Friday at Venice High School. The senior nailed a 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining to break a 54-tie. He scored on a layup to make it 59-55, but Granada Hills’ Travis Griffin hit a 3-pointer to get the Highlanders to within 59-58.
Garfield’s Jesse Nunez was fouled intentionally but not until there was one second left in the game. Nunez made one of two free throws.
The Bulldogs are also led by senior forward Joe Joaquin and senior point guard Angel Camacho.
Garfield will be attempting to win its first-ever City basketball title after coming up short nearly a year ago, losing in the Division II final to Chatsworth, 66-61.
El Camino Real defeated Narbonne handily in a semifinal, 60-37, to advance to the championship game. They also beat San Pedro and Van Nuys along the way.
Besides Granada Hills, Garfield has also defeated Carson and Belmont in the playoffs.
In the Division II girls championship game, top-seeded Palisades (27-5) will play Monroe (22-9) at 6 p.m. at Roybal.
Palisades defeated Roosevelt, 53-39, and Monroe defeated Eagle Rock, 51-36, to advance to the finals. With the loss, Roosevelt finished the season 20-5; Eagle Rock was 25-4.
Roybal is located at 1200 Colton Street, downtown Los Angeles.