Brother and Sister Duo Ace Spelling Bee

Ericka and Neil Opena and fellow Middle School student Derek Topper are the district's top spellers.

Names: Ericka Opena, Neil Opena and Derek Topper

: Long Beach Middle School

: Eighth-grader Ericka Opena has begun her reign as Long Beach Public Schools District Spelling Bee champion with a hard-earned victory in the 2011 event. Ericka, who competed against 45 others, finished the competition by correctly spelling “julep.” Ericka’s brother Neil, a seventh grader, and eighth-grade schoolmate Derek Topper placed as runners-up.

Do you know a great kid? He or she could have accomplished something momentous, or could have been part of a group or team that made a difference. Or, you might just know a kid who is an all-around good kid, deserving of a little honest praise.

The kid you know could be our next Patch Whiz Kid honoree.

Each week, Long Beach Patch will seek suggestions from readers for individual  kids, youth groups, teens, and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments and with their character.

We want to hear about these children and teens and select one each week as the Patch Whiz Kid. Submit your nomination in our comment box below, or e-mail the information to josephk@patch.com.

Be sure to include all of the following information:

●      Your name

●      Your email

●      Whiz Kid's name

●      His or her age

●      His or her school

●      His or her accomplishments or a description of good character

●      The key to his or her success

●     Any advice he or she has for other kids.

If your nominee is selected, we'll contact you


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