Ryder Espinoza, an eighth-grader at Toronto Junior-Senior High School, placed first in the Toronto City Schools spelling bee on Wednesday. He won by correctly spelling “relish,” which can mean to enjoy something greatly or a spicy condiment. Taking part in the awards ceremony were, from left, front, Espinoza, Jayden Jonasen, a seventh-grader, second; Ashton Thomas, an eighth-grader, third; Joell Alexander, an eighth-grader, fourth; and Ashton Scalise, a sixth-grader, fifth; middle, Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times; Brady Fair, a sixth-grader, sixth; Pax Frey, a sixth-grader, seventh; Patrick McEwen, a sixth-grader, eighth; Wyatt Anderson, a sixth-grader, first alternate; Clayton Stillwell, a sixth-grader, second alternate; and Marlene Wolf, the bee’s coordinator; back, Maureen Taggart, superintendent of Toronto City Schools; Betsy Jones, principal of Toronto Junior-Senior High School; and Annie Silverthorn, principal of Toronto Elementary School. The top eight spellers and two alternates will advance to the Jefferson-Harrison County Regional Spelling Bee, presented by the Herald-Star, at 11 a.m. on March 14 at the Buckeye North Elementary School in Brilliant.
-- Warren Scott