EL CERRITO -- Righteous has three definitions according to Merriam-Webster. And if Korematsu's Ghouran Chang used it in a sentence, it might go something like this: I capped a righteous win at the West Contra Costa County Unified School District Middle School Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the two-syllable adjective.
Chang, an eighth grader at Korematsu, outlasted 18 other spellers from DeJean, Helms, Hercules, Korematsu, and Pinole middle schools to claim his second District spelling championship. Chang also won Fairmont’s Spelling Bee as a sixth grader.
"It feels really good," Chang said. "I didn't know were doing the list (of words). I had been studying a different list."
Regardless of which list pronouncers Verde Elementary School principal Eric Acosta-Veraprauskus and retired District administrator Jamersina Preston read from, Chang calmly spelled each word to reach the final round.
The spellers went through more than 225 words. Chang was joined in the final round by Esther Le Nguyen from DeJean and Jacob Klein, who also attends Korematsu. Nguyen finished second and Klein came in third.
Pat Martin, the District's visual and performing arts coordinator, Rachel Porzig, instructional coach, and Vera Rowsey, retired District administrator, served as judges and Antoinette Henry-Evans, retired District administrator, coordinated the event.