When Daryl S. Lee, 16, correctly spelled zephyrous and sesquicentennial at the recent Orange County High School Spelling Competition, it marked the third consecutive year in which someone whose last name is Lee has won the prize.
The streak began in 1987 when Daryl's brother, Roderick N. Lee, won, followed in 1988 by Capistrano Valley High School's Kyung M. Lee, who is not related to the brothers.
"It feels good to keep it in the family," said Daryl, a sophomore at Edison High School who has an A average.
"I was pretty happy," he said of his victory Thursday night. "My teacher said if I won the contest, she would give me an A in English; she gave me an A."
Linda Carpenter, Daryl's honors English teacher, explained: "He originally didn't want to enter the contest because he's a very shy boy. So I told him if he won the contest, I would change his grade to an A."
Carpenter said his grade for the semester stood at 89.5, or 0.5% away from the top grade.
Daryl won $125 as well as a trophy, which ironically misspelled the month in which the competition was held (Febraury). Along with runner-up Casey Kile of Mission Viejo High School, Daryl will represent Orange County in the state spelling competition finals to be held April 22 in Orinda.
Los Alamitos High School senior Kathy Fitzer has been named winner of the California Youth Services Network Roger Injayan Youth Participation Award.
The award is given to young people who participate in volunteer activities that benefit youth-oriented services and community agencies. Fitzer is president of the Youth Development Project at Casa Youth Shelter in Los Alamitos, a temporary haven for runaway teen-agers and other youths in crisis.
"The Power of Choice," a conference for teen-agers emphasizing healthy choices for healthy life styles, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Doubletree Hotel at The City in Orange.
The conference will be sponsored by the Orange County March of Dimes' Chain Reaction Leadership Council, a group of outstanding high school students promoting efforts to prevent birth defects. The conference will cover topics such as stress and substance abuse.
For more information, contact the March of Dimes office at (714) 631-8700.