TES 5th Grader Wins 2020 LCPS Spelling Bee

TES 5th Grader Wins 2020 LCPS Spelling Bee
Posted on 01/23/2020

A little more than a month ago, Trevilians Elementary School fifth-grader Lillian Raines was one of about 1,500 students vying for the title of Spelling Bee Champion for Louisa County Public Schools.

On the night of Wednesday, January 22nd during the 2020 LCPS Spelling Bee, Raines did what it takes and brought the title home, and her winning word couldn’t have been more appropriate: gauntlet.

Sure enough, Raines was up to the challenge.

Raines was one of 30 spellers who qualified for the 2020 LCPS Spelling Bee. Beginning in early December and continuing through early January, all four elementary schools in the division, as well as Louisa County Middle School, hosted their own bees for students in grades 3rd-8th. Students who finished as the first or second-place speller in their grade level qualified for the division Bee. Those who finished in third place in their grade levels served as alternates.

Raines earned her spot in the division Bee by finishing first amongst fifth-graders at TES. Runner-up Jaiden Wood qualified for the division Bee by finishing in first place amongst fourth-graders at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

During the division Bee, the students battled nerves and pressure inside a packed Forum at LCMS to conquer a handful of extremely challenging words, successfully rolling through “arborio,” turret,” and “mangrove.”

Raines’ triumph came after eight rounds of competition that lasted approximately 72 minutes. Raines spelled “extinguish” correctly, and then made her way through “gauntlet” to take the crown. With the win, Raines became the first elementary school student to win the LCPS Spelling Bee since 2014, when Grace Lay took home the title. Coincidentally, Lay was also a fifth-grader from TES.

Afterward, superintendent Doug Straley commended all of the competitors for their performance.

“Every one of the students that participated here tonight was a champion,” Straley said. “They earned their right to be here. I’m so proud of all of them for the hard work and long hours of studying they put in, and it showed because they did a fantastic job.”

As the winner of the 2020 LCPS Spelling Bee, Raines will now move on to compete in the 46th annual Richmond Times-Dispatch Spelling Bee on March 21st. By virtue of finishing as the runner-up, Wood will serve as the alternate.

Judges for this year’s Spelling Bee were former LCPS administrator Larry Lewis, former editor of The Central Virginian Cathy Collins, and LCPS Director of Elementary Education Dr. Justin Grigg. LCPS Director of Secondary Education Tom Smith served as the pronouncer.

Louisa County Public Schools would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to UVA Community Credit Union, Chisholm Construction, and Strangehouse Skateshop for sponsoring the 2020 LCPS Spelling Bee.

School Winners/Alternates

Jouett Elementary School
3rd Grade: Owen Toney, Emily Taylor, Dylan Jennings (Alternate)
4th Grade: Fallon Ellis, Bella Breedlove, Alexis Pilkington (Alternate)
5th Grade: Jesse Clarke, Brooke Reidelbach, Madelyn Madison (Alternate)

Moss-Nuckols Elementary School
3rd Grade: Anni Blair, Sydney Colvin, Cole Cleaver (Alternate)
4th Grade: Luis Steel, Maxwell Mackie, Domanant Lawson (Alternate)
5th Grade: Nia Davis, Connor Michael, Benjamin Choffel (Alternate)

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
3rd Grade: Braxton Phipps, Steven Parks, Yakariah Martin-Nelson (Alternate
)4th Grade: Jaiden Wood, Lila Cline, Mavrick D’Andrea (Alternate)
5th Grade: Rahjir Shelton, Cameron Brown, Abbygale Withers (Alternate)

Trevilians Elementary School
3rd Grade: Brayden Feasel, Henry Holtzman, Kaden Foster (Alternate)
4th Grade: Chase Gatton, Josh Gaye, Ryan Stacy (Alternate)
5th Grade: Lilly Raines, Natalie Wilson, Blake Simpson (Alternate)

Louisa County Middle School
6th Grade: Shayla Bounds, Carlie Benson, Tucker McLeod (Alternate)
7th Grade: Emily Nicholas, Kali Dunkum, Jaylynn Quarles (Alternate)
8th Grade: Jake Marshall, Sebastian Sacra, Bryce Snyder (Alternate) 

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