DATE: February 13, 2018
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Albemarle County Public Schools’ 2018 Spelling Bee Champion Will Make Her Third Trip to Regional Bee in Three Years
2018 ACPS Spelling Bee Champion
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – It took 19 rounds and a word first known to be used in 1571 for Layla Bouber, a Henley Middle school sixth-grader, to win the Albemarle County Public Schools’ 2018 Spelling Bee last evening.
The championship word was “hexagonal,” meaning an object with six sides, and after asking for the definition, Layla confidently spelled the word correctly, nearly two hours after the competition began. This will be the third time in three years that Layla will represent the school division in the Central Virginia Regional Spelling Bee, which will be held on Saturday, March 3, at Albemarle High School.
In the two previous years, Layla earned her way to the regional finals as a runner-up and the winner of the Meriwether Lewis Elementary School spelling bee. This year, she will be joined on March 3 by 2018 runners-up Kendal Asplin from Cale; Grace Caramanis from Walton; Meriwether Lewis’ Taylor Florin; Renae George, who attends Sutherland; Trisha Hande from Hollymead; Carson Grover from Baker-Butler; and Matthew Lapinski, a Murray Elementary School student.
These students and 12 of their colleagues won their individual school’s spelling bee earlier this year. Thousands of students across the county’s 15 elementary schools and five middle schools participated this year.
“We are so impressed with all 20 of our participants,” said Maureen Jensen and Alison Dwier-Selden, instructional coaches for the school division and coordinators for last evening’s competition. “Every year the preparation and word study of these champions, and their poise on stage and the support they receive from their parents and teachers, make all of us proud,” they added.
“Rote memorization does not work as well, either in a spelling bee or in life, as using the value of analytical thinking skills to find the right answer,” they said.
Albemarle County’s champion and runners-up will be among 24 finalists who will compete on March 3 for the right to move on to the national Spelling Bee competition. Locally, the Daily Progress and The News Virginian sponsor the regional competition. This is the 66th consecutive year that the Daily Progress has been a sponsor.
The 2018 National Bee will be held between May 27 and June 1 at National Harbor in Maryland. More than 11 million students from across the nation participate each year in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Since the national competition began in 1925, two Virginia students have earned the national title: Daniel Greenblatt won in 1984, and Amanda Goad was the 1992 national champion.