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Spellbound — Middle school students compete in annual Spelling Bee

The best middle school spellers in the county were a’buzz earlier this month during the 46th Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Spelling Bee.

After securing a spot on a three-person team at their school’s Spelling Bee, spellers were invited to participate in the countywide contest hosted at Theodore G. Davis Middle School on March 13.

Among the schools that fielded teams for this year’s Bee were Davis, John Hanson, Matthew Henson, Mattawoman, Piccowaxen, General Smallwood, Milton M. Somers and Benjamin Stoddert middle schools, Archbishop Neale School (ANS) and Southern Maryland Christian Academy (SMCA).

The final five spellers remaining in the seventh round were Cory Hodge Jr., a seventh-grade student at Hanson, Landon Posey, a seventh-grade student at SMCA, Micriza Brown, a Mattawoman eighth grader, Tejas Suri, an ANS eighth grader, and Aidan Cobos, a seventh grader from Somers.

In the eighth round Hodge misspelled “meager,” and Suri incorrectly spelled “shrapnel,” leaving Posey, Brown and Cobos left to carry on. In the next round, Posey misspelled “audacity,” which left Brown and Cobos to face off for the 10th round. After Brown misspelled “remnants,” Cobos had to spell his 10th round word correctly, plus an additional championship round word. First up, he spelled “appendix,” right. It’s a “supplementary material that is collected and appended at the back of a book.” Next, Cobos was asked to spell “designate.” Which he did, and he did correctly. Cobos thanked his mother for encouraging him to participate in the Spelling Bee and his coaches Fara Walent and Valerie Amend for helping him prepare for the event.

Cobos was named the Charles County Spelling Bee winner and will represent the county in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor in Prince George’s County.

Spelling Bee teams

Theodore G. Davis Middle School

  • Eliam Quirante, seventh grade.
  • Gisele Smith, sixth grade.
  • Annaliese Gardiner, sixth grade.
  • DeLishia Davis, coach.

John Hanson Middle School

  • Cory Hodge Jr., seventh grade.
  • Nee’C Sloan, sixth grade.
  • Elysia Young, eighth grade.
  • Jennifer Biegner, coach.

Matthew Henson Middle School

·      Randy Kamsu, eighth grade.

·      Ryan Ashton Ordonez, sixth grade.

·      Kylie Williams, sixth grade.

·      Deborah Holder, coach.


Mattawoman Middle School

  • Micriza Brown, eighth grade.
  • Hunter Green, eighth grade.
  • Javier Lovo Guevara, eighth grade.
  • Christina Washington, coach.

Piccowaxen Middle School

  • Karis Pilkerton, eighth grade.
  • John Roberts, sixth grade.
  • Jay Wolfe, seventh grade.
  • Lynn Hopkins and Amber Sullivan, coaches

General Smallwood Middle School

  • Cameron Carter, seventh grade.
  • Jazemine Lyles, eighth grade.
  • Elizabeth White, eighth grade.
  • Shannon Elder, coach.

Milton M. Somers Middle School

  • Evan An, seventh grade.
  • Aidan Cobos, seventh grade.
  • Jamahl Harper, sixth grade.
  • Fara Walent and Valerie Amend, coach.

Benjamin Stoddert Middle School

  • Dakyrai Hawkins, seventh grade
  • Ashley Okemu, seventh grade
  • Jada Walthour, eighth grade.
  • Danielle Smith, coach.

Archbishop Neale School

  • Michael Morgan, seventh grade
  • Tejas Suri, eighth grade.
  • Christopher Yum, eighth grade.
  • Susan Gardiner, coach.

Southern Maryland Christian Academy

  • Theresa Milazzo, sixth grade.  
  • Landon Posey, seventh grade.
  • Noble Winters, sixth grade.  
  • Lanaya Ramsey, coach.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,765 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 38 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).