Island’s Best Spellers Compete in City Bee

Eric J. Kos  The Alameda Spelling Bee’s top five spellers, left to right: Liam Foster, Hazel Purins, Elizabeth Tsyvinsky, Katie Angstadt-Leto and Alyanna Manzano. For more photos from the 2016 bee, visit

Island’s Best Spellers Compete in City Bee

The second annual Alameda Spelling Bee took place last Saturday at Otis Elementary School. Liam Foster, a ninth-grader at Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC), was named the top speller on the Island. This year’s bee was open to students in both elementary and middle schools. Foster was also named the top middle-school-age speller.

Hazel Purins, last year’s top speller, a sixth-grader at Lincoln Middle School (LMS), came in second place overall, and was the top elementary school-age speller. (The county bee categorizes up to sixth-graders in the elementary school division.) 

Other top spellers were LMS sixth-grader Elizabeth Tsyvinsky, third overall; Katie Angstadt-Leto, sixth-grader at Nea Community Learning Center in fourth overall and Alyanna Manzano, sixth-grade, ACLC, fifth overall.

Rounding out the top 12 and also representing Alameda at the Alameda County Bee in March are Lee-John Majerus, Liam Hofmann, Artemis Edison, Sunny Zhu and Maxwell Hayden with alternates: Theo Hartlaub and Sophia Cooke.

Hosting the bee is a passion for local parent Chuck Kapelke who has organized the event the past two years. Alameda Sun Publisher Eric J. Kos and Alameda Poet Laureate Julia Park Tracey served as judges with UCSF Economics Professor Michael Jonas as spell master.

The Alameda Elks Lodge provided financial support. Alameda Sun served as the media sponsor. In-kind donations were given by Alameda Awards & Advertising and other local business sponsors. 

Find out more about the bee at