Rio Rancho Public Schools completed the Rio Rancho/Sandoval County District Spelling Bee on Jan. 21.

It was conducted remotely in a “live” spelling bee format using a videoconferencing platform.

Thirty-nine qualifying students from 22 schools participated. It was live-streamed and is available on the RRPS YouTube channel.

The first two rounds ran about two hours, because spellers were not eliminated until the second round and because of a large number of appeals in the first two rounds.

Here are the top five spellers, along with an alternate who would, if permitted, step in if one of the qualifiers is unable to compete in the state bee in March.

Except for Ian Zeter, the “winning word” is the last word in the competition the student spelled correctly; for those tied for third and the alternate, it’s the last word they spelled correctly in a regular competition round:

  1. Ian Zeter, grade 5, Ernest Stapleton Elementary; judoka.
  2. Keith Lee, grade 5, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary; bibliopegist.
  3. Logan Hargues, grade 5, Joe Harris Elementary; cupola.
  4. Sathya Martin, grade 7, Lincoln Middle School; leguminous.
  5. Lauryn McKee, grade 8, Mountain View Middle School; endorphin.

Alternate: Sarah Fletcher, grade 5, Colinas del Norte Elementary; lupine.