2024 LCPS Spelling Bee

2024 LCPS Spelling Bee
Posted on 01/24/2024

Just a couple of months ago, Louisa County Middle School eighth-grader Maxwell Mackie was one of about 1,700 students vying for the title of Spelling Bee Champion for Louisa County Public Schools.

And on Wednesday, January 24th, during the final moments of the 2024 LCPS Spelling Bee, only one word stood between him and the title: metadata.

Mackie was up to the challenge, confidently and correctly spelling the word to earn the title as this year’s top speller at LCPS. 

Mackie was one of 30 spellers who qualified for and competed in the 2024 LCPS Spelling Bee on Wednesday night. Each speller earned their right to compete by succeeding in their respective school’s 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.

Mackie earned his spot in the division Bee by finishing second amongst all eighth-graders at LCMS. This year’s runner-up, Caleb Lucas, qualified for the bee thanks to a second-place finish at the fifth-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 “transpiration,” protectorate,” and “thoroughbred.” 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.

Mackie’s triumph came after 14 rounds of competition that lasted approximately 92 minutes. Starting in round four, the bee came down to a battle between Mackie and Lucas. In the final round, Mackie spelled “trivia” correctly and then made his way through the championship word, “metadata,” to take the crown. 

With the win, Mackie ensured that the first-place trophy went to a middle school student for the third consecutive year. Bella Bresciano-Reese, an eighth-grader, won the title in 2023. Another eighth-grader, Delilah Thomas, took home the trophy in 2022. The title last went to an elementary school student in 2021, when Anni Blair, then a fourth-grader, earned the title as the school division’s top speller.

Afterward, LCPS 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 2024 LCPS Spelling Bee, Mackie will now move on to compete in the 50th annual Richmond Times-Dispatch Spelling Bee on March 7th. By virtue of finishing as the runner-up, Lucas 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. Retired 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: Anthony Matthews, Lorelei Perry, Georgia Stocks (Alternate)

4th Grade: Melanie Powell, Zofia Stump, Alaina Fitzgerald (Alternate)

5th Grade: Aubrey Waller, Tommy Miller, Claire McHugh (Alternate)

Moss-Nuckols Elementary School

3rd Grade: Lillyan Martin, Luna Knight, Addison Bilek (Alternate)

4th Grade: Aleksandar Krstic, Jonah Miller, Nishita Adhikari (Alternate)

5th Grade: Tanner Daughtrey, Nived Adhikari, Callie Campos (Alternate)

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

3rd Grade: Brody Lowe, Nataleigh Wells, Nahiara Imbachi-Ruiz (Alternate)

4th Grade: Reese Hicks, Devin Sexton, Isla Thompson (Alternate)

5th Grade: Ava McClure, Charlotte Clendenny, Sophia Withers (Alternate)

Trevilians Elementary School

3rd Grade: Emberly Bell, Bristol Knott, Harper Covington (Alternate)

4th Grade: Brett Sponseller, Elijah Criste, Aamir Turay (Alternate)

5th Grade: Hampton Taylor, Caleb Lucas, Charlotte Hurtt (Alternate)

Louisa County Middle School

6th Grade: Eli Lynch, Hinda Garnett, Kadence LaFontaine (Alternate)

7th Grade: Peyton Riddick, Anni Blair, Katie Harper (Alternate)

8th Grade: Aaron Weatherholtz, Maxwell Mackie, Joshua Gaye (Alternate)

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