Tomball ISD trustees honored two Creekside Park Junior High School national spelling bee competitors on Sept. 11—with one earning the title of national co-champion.

A closer look

TISD student Emilio Fuentes was named a co-champion at the 2023 National Spanish Spelling Bee, which was held June 30-July 1, according to a July 6 news release from TISD. The five-hour event was held in El Paso and tested 28 state champions in grades 4-8 from across the U.S. on their Spanish spelling skills.

Fuentes—the first TISD student to compete at the National Spanish Spelling Bee—shares the national champion title with a New Mexico student after a stalemate was declared, according to the news release. One of the judges had a medical incident and couldn’t continue at the end of the competition, Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said Sept. 11.

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In June, TISD student Ishika Varipilli competed at the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee for the second time.

Varipilli represented the district at the 2023 Scripps Regional Spelling Bee and earned her trip to the National Spelling Bee as one of three first place winners in the regional competition.

Also on the agenda

On Sept. 12, TISD trustees unanimously approved a motion allowing Salazar-Zamora to finish negotiations for a contract related to the construction of Tomball West Intermediate School. The $34.1 million contract with ICI Construction Inc. will use 2021 bond monies and is not to exceed $43.8 million, according to Sept. 12 meeting documents.

West Intermediate School—a 115,000-square-foot project to be located at the district’s Juergen Road complex—is expected to open in August 2025.

Anna Lotz and Lizzy Spangler contributed to this report.