Fresno County crowned its new Spelling Bee champion on Tuesday.
Japleen Dhillon, an eighth grader from Central Unified School District, will represent Fresno County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June in Maryland.
Japleen was one of four students — the top two elementary and top two middle school students — competing in the Scripps qualifier on Tuesday. The county’s 27th annual spell-off was held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.
Japleen, who attends Rio Vista Middle, took second place in the middle school competition. The winner was Hailey Trogdon, a student at Fresno Christian Middle School.
In the elementary school division, Aarya Sodha of Sanger Unified School District won first place and Phong Nguyen-Tran, a Clovis Unified student, came in second.
Aarya and Hailey will advance to the state competition, which is not connected with the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Japleen’s winning word was “unwonted,” which means unaccustomed or unusual.