Skip To Main Content
The Bobcats and the Bee — Billingsley Elementary School students compete in school Spelling Bee

Azeez Akindele will go down in Billingsley Elementary School history for being the champion of the school’s inaugural Spelling Bee. The third grader, clad in a shirt depicting a sunglasses-wearing bulldog riding a skateboard, correctly spelled “infamous” in the 23rd round of the May 23 contest to clinch the title. Marrkan Girum, a fifth-grade student who came in second, cheered for Akindele’s victory and gave him a gracious, celebratory handshake. Fourth grader Suravi Shrestha placed third in the Bee. While the top three finishers received trophies, all 30 students who participated received a Spelling Bee medallion.

Billingsley teachers of third, fourth and fifth grades were able to nominate 10 students per grade to take part, Principal Sabrina Robinson-Taylor said. Students with strong reading and writing skills were asked to participate and could turn down the opportunity if they didn’t want to.

Robinson-Taylor thanked the contestants for their participation and praised them for their skill and courage. While parents and family members watched the Bee in person, the contest was livestreamed on YouTube to Billingsley classrooms.

Robinson-Taylor and Meighan Hungerford, director of elementary education for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), were the contest’s pronouncers asking students to spell words like “empower,” “humility,” “vivacious” and “endure.” Melinda Jacowski, reading resource teacher, Layla Harrison, first-grade teacher, and Ashley Mangalindan, math interventionist instructional assistant, served as judges. Music teacher, Bill Cusack, oversaw the livestream and Kaprena Camp, school librarian, helped Robinson-Taylor organize the Spelling Bee.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,598 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).