2023 LCPS Spelling Bee

2023 LCPS Spelling Bee
Posted on 01/30/2023
Just a couple of months ago, Louisa County Middle School eighth-grader Bella Bresciano-Reese was one of about 1,700 students vying for the title of Spelling Bee Champion for Louisa County Public Schools.

On Thursday, January 26th, during the final moments of the 2023 LCPS Spelling Bee, only one word stood between her and the title: quadrillion.

Bresciano-Reese was up to the challenge. She confidently spelled the word, earning her the title as this year’s top speller at LCPS. 

Bresciano-Reese was one of 30 spellers who qualified for and competed in the 2023 LCPS Spelling Bee. Beginning in early November and continuing through December, all four elementary schools in the division, as well as Louisa County Middle School, hosted their own school-level bees for third through eighth-grade students. Students who finished as the first or second-place speller in their grade level qualified for the division Bee. Those who finished in third place in their grade levels served as alternates for the division competition.

Bresciano-Reese earned her spot in the division Bee by finishing first amongst all eighth-graders at LCMS. This year’s runner-up, Hampton Taylor, also qualified for the bee thanks to a first-place finish at the fourth-grade level for Trevilians Elementary School.

During the division Bee, the students battled nerves and pressure inside the Alan Jackson Theatre at Louisa County High School to conquer a handful of extremely challenging words, successfully rolling through words like “angora,” gargantuan,” and “lumbar.” The students also handled the pressure that comes with a live audience, as seats in the auditorium were filled with proud parents, siblings, and friends.

Bresciano-Reese’s triumph came after five rounds of competition that lasted approximately 67 minutes. Bresciano-Reese spelled “subliminal” correctly and then made her way through the championship word, “quadrillion,” to take the crown. 

With the win, Bresciano-Reese ensured that the first-place trophy went to a middle school student for the second consecutive year. Eighth-grader Delilah Thomas won the title in 2022, while it went to fourth-grader Anni Blair in 2021 and fifth-grader Lillian Raines in 2020.

Afterward, superintendent Doug Straley commended all of the competitors for their performance.

“Every one of the students that participated here tonight was a champion,” Straley said. “They earned their right to be here. I’m so proud of all of them for the hard work and long hours of studying they put in, and it showed because they did a fantastic job.”

As the winner of the 2023 LCPS Spelling Bee, Bresciano-Reese will now move on to compete in the 49th annual Richmond Times-Dispatch Spelling Bee on March 9th. By virtue of finishing as the runner-up, Taylor will serve as the alternate.

Judges for this year’s Spelling Bee were LCPS Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Justin Grigg, LCPS Director of Assessment, Accountability, and High School Education Tom Smith, and Jouett Elementary School teacher Elizabeth Leale. Louisa County High School teacher Douglas Bowman served as the pronouncer.

Louisa County Public Schools would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to all of the competitors and sincere thanks to all of the family members, friends, and teachers who supported this year’s spellers!

School Winners/Alternates

Jouett Elementary School
3rd Grade: Alaina Fitzgerald, Melanie Powell, Amelia Atkinson (Alternate)
4th Grade: Bentley Mallory, Claire McHugh, Drew Adams (Alternate)
5th Grade: Lorelei Hart, Kristy Hartley, Raegen Taylor (Alternate)

Moss-Nuckols Elementary School
3rd Grade: Raygen Cauthorne, Aleksandar Krstic, Emmitt Paczkowski (Alternate)
4th Grade: Tanner Daughtrey, Demarri Mason, Callie Campos (Alternate)
5th Grade: Kadence LaFontaine, Gracie Harlow, Aminah Brinkley (Alternate)

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
3rd Grade: Isla Thompson, Killian Reedy, James Christopher IV (Alternate)
4th Grade: Aaralyn Royals, Ava McClure, Sophia Withers (Alternate), Kyra Clark (Alternate)
5th Grade: Hayden Williams, Luke Hendershot, Addison Cyr (Alternate)

Trevilians Elementary School
3rd Grade: Brett Sponseller, Elena Harris, Mia Lacey (Alternate)
4th Grade: Hampton Taylor, Caleb Lucas, Charlotte Hurtt (Alternate)
5th Grade: Natalie Breslin, Tristan Maupin, Raegan Chumley (Alternate)

Louisa County Middle School
6th Grade: Anni Blair, Katie Harper, Carl Clanton (Alternate)
7th Grade: Parker Manning, Izzy Ryalls, Wesley Mullen (Alternate)
8th Grade: Bella Bresciano-Reese, Destiny Dobbins, Gabriella Ford (Alternate)
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