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Hanson sixth grader to represent county at Scripps National Spelling Bee

The final rounds of the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) 44th annual Spelling Bee went into the double digits the evening of March 3.

It was Aydin Jones, a sixth grader at John Hanson Middle School, and Michaela Stewart, an eighth-grade student at Mattawoman Middle School, switching places at the microphone in the gym of Matthew Henson Middle School. For a while when one spelled a word incorrectly, the other would do the same. When one nailed a spelling, the other followed suit. In the end, Jones won the Bee by correctly spelling “surrealist.”

He advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at the National Harbor. The National Spelling Bee will be broadcast live on ION June 2. Jones had some stiff competition to get to nationals. The 22 spellers in the local Bee are the best middle school spellers in the county. The students first competed at the school level, then took an online spelling exam before earning a chair at the in-person Bee.

“These are the Top 22 spellers in the county,” John Tompkins, content specialist for middle school language arts, said. “Just by being here is an accomplishment.”

The Mattawoman Middle School team coached by reading interventionist, Jody Bell, was named the Top Team and includes members sixth graders Chloe Jones and Devin Rochester, seventh grader Alexander Nguyen and Stewart.

The finalists who competed in the CCPS Spelling Bee include:

  • Theodore G. Davis Middle School — Krisha Patel.
  • John Hanson Middle School — Aydin Jones and Athena Sapp.
  • Matthew Henson Middle School — Isabella Wilburg.
  • Mattawoman Middle School — Devin Rochester, Alexander Nguyen and Michaela Stewart.
  • Piccowaxen Middle School — Nicolo Paternoster.
  • General Smallwood — Myles Alexander and Khloe Joines-Scott.
  • Milton M. Somers Middle School — Savannah Amend, Omari Cummings, Addison Kelly and Karis Pilkerton.
  • Benjamin Stoddert Middle School — Aaron Nguyen.
  • Archbishop Neale School — Joshua Vincent, Tejas Suri and Joseph Carter.
  • Southern Maryland Christian Academy — Trinity Edwards, Annabelle Obe and Selah Wolfe.

About CCPS
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 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 Kathy Kiessling, 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.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).