Chen takes second

in Pima Spelling Bee

Copper Creek Elementary School fourth-grader Michael Chen proved he can spell with the best of those in the county and is on his way to the state spelling bee.

Chen was runner-up in the Feb. 19 Pima County Spelling Bee, earning him a spot in the Arizona Spelling Bee along with county champion Christopher O'Connor, 13, from St. Cyril School.

The state bee is at 1 p.m. March 23 at Arizona State University Downtown, 555 N. Central Ave., Sixth Floor. At that competition, 27 students will compete for the right to represent the state in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Marana district class, teacher win awards

Marana Unified School District announced a pair of distinctions for its students and faculty.

Arizona Choral Educators sang the praises of Marana Middle School choir teacher Chelsea Acree, naming her Outstanding New Music Educator of the Year.

Over at Mountain View High School, the engineering class won the Aeronautical Engineering Real World Design Challenge Feb. 7. The team will compete with more than 30 others at a national competition in Washington, D.C., in April.

The team will demonstrate its work with a computer simulation model and make an oral presentation at the National Space Museum.

CDO academic team to make run at title

Canyon del Oro High School's second-ranked Academic Decathlon team is gearing up for a run at the state title in a competition in the Phoenix area.

The state competition unfolds Friday and Saturday at Arizona State University West, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Glendale.

The team won its 12th consecutive Region III Academic Decathlon at a February event in Yuma. There, students on the team won cash and scholarship prizes totaling more than $80,000.

The state competition will consist of online essays, speeches and interviews, test sessions and a quiz relay.

Video program explores religions

The Oro Valley Library will host a two-part educational video series that will look at the world through the lens of religion.

The videos analyze history, culture, geography, psychology, demographics and tenets of five major religions.

An introduction and post-screening discussion will accompany the videos, which will play from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and March 19. There is no charge for attending, and reservations are not required. For more information, visit online.

Send school notes to Phil Villarreal at