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Konawaena Middle School Student Wins State Spelling Bee

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An eighth-grader from Konawaena Middle School took top honors Sunday in the Hawaii State Spelling Bee.

Christianne Abella won in the 19th round by correctly spelling “plangency,” which is a noun that means the quality or state of an expressive or plaintive sound.

Abella is the second Konawaena Middle School student to win the state spelling bee in the past three years, following 2012 winner Taggart Nakamoto, a sixth-grader at the school in Kealakekua. She is also the first girl to win the contest in four years.

She and her chaperone will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC in May to represent Hawaii in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Abella and Hope Kudo of Kealakehe Intermediate School were the winners of the Big Island district spelling bee, earning the right to be among the 14 finalists in the competition shown Sunday night on PBS Hawaii.

Spellers from 92 schools across the state participated in the spelling bee.

The spelling bee will air again on PBS Hawaii at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 29.

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