DATE: February 8, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
21 School Champions Will Compete Monday Evening for Top Honors in Division Spelling Bee; Video Stream Begins at 6 p.m.
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The road to the National Spelling Bee finals in National Harbor, Maryland, begins this Monday, February 11, for the top spellers in Albemarle County Public Schools. That’s when the school division hosts its 14th annual Division Spelling Bee, featuring 21 individual school champions from across the county.
The event begins at 6 p.m. in Lane Auditorium in the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville. One winner and seven runners-up will qualify for the regional spelling bee, which will take place on Saturday, March 9, beginning at 10 a.m. at Albemarle High School.
Monday’s competition will be live-streamed at:
Among the participants this year will be Layla Bouber from Henley Middle School, who was the 2018 division champion. Also qualifying for the regional bee a year ago was Trisha Hande, who will be representing Sutherland Middle School on Monday evening.
The Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, Dr. Ned Gallaway, will serve as one of three judges for the event. He will be joined by Kelvin Reid, who directs the school division’s Extended Day Enrichment Programs, and by Ms. Bobbi Hughes, who served several years as an assistant principal at Western Albemarle High School. Ms. Kathy Sublette, a retired school division teacher, will be the pronouncer.
The National Spelling Bee, among the nation’s most popular educational programs, began in 1925. This year, more than 11 million students across the country will participate. The finals begin on Monday, May 26, and will conclude on Thursday, May 30.
The 2018 winner, Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Texas, earned her title by correctly spelling the word “koinonia,” which means an intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community.