Emily Winkler, a Milton M. Somers Middle School eighth grader, will represent Charles County in the Scripps National Spelling Bee later this year. Winkler clenched the title of champion during the annual Charles County Public Schools Spelling Bee Feb. 15. She correctly spelled “Rembrandt.” Winkler is no stranger to the Bee’s winner’s circle — she was runner up last year to teammate Haley Payton, now a freshman at La Plata High School.
Jack Alcorn, a Somers seventh grader, and Jasmine F. Flores, a St. Peter’s Catholic School eighth grader, battled for the second and third place. The two went back and forth for more than seven minutes to find out who would be this year’s runner up. Alcorn spelled “arrears” incorrectly, then Flores incorrectly spelled “bounteous.” The next round, both spelled their words correctly — “appetite” for Flores, “comportment” for Alcorn. In the following round, Flores wrongly spelled “quiddity,” then Alcorn spelled “ibis” correctly. He placed second by correctly spelling “polenta.”
The Somers team, coached by seventh-grade language arts teachers Valerie Amend and Stephanie Walent, finished in first place. The team is made up of seventh graders Alcorn, Chloe Bautista and Jordan Surfield and eighth graders Winkler and Gabriella Barbone.
More than 45 middle school students from Charles County schools — public and private — competed in the 40th annual Bee which was held at General Smallwood Middle School. The national competition is set for May 27 to June 1 when top spellers from around the country will travel to Washington, D.C., and the National Harbor to compete in the national Bee.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.