Jason Williams stood tall and confidently spelled the word P-R-E-V-I-O-U-S to take home the 15th Annual Culver City Unified School District Spelling Bee title on February 20 at Robert Frost Auditorium. The fifth-grader from La Ballona Elementary School finished atop 23 other spellers – four students from each of the district’s five elementary schools and Culver City Middle School competed.
Williams also took home a first-place trophy and a $200 cash prize courtesy of the Culver City Education Foundation, which sponsored the event. He will advance to the Los Angeles County Spelling Bee, which will be held on March 18 at Almansor Court, 700 S. Almansor St., in Alhambra. The winner of that competition will advance to the statewide spelling bee in Sonoma in May.
The Culver City Education Foundation also presented a trophy and $150 in cash to second-place finisher Alexander Rodriguez Y Gibson, a sixth-grader from Culver City Middle School; and a trophy and $100 in cash to third-place finisher Matthew Briseño, a fourth-grader from El Marino Language School.
In addition, each participant received a certificate of commendation signed by the District’s superintendent congratulating him or her on reaching the Spelling Bee finals.
Congratulations to all of the Spelling Bee finalists: Culver City Middle School: Alexander Rodriguez Y Gibson, Charlotte Sasson, Orion Chow Countryman and Payton Lin; El Marino Language School: Emma Monges, Jacob Zeitlin, Matthew Briseño and Westley Watson; El Rincon Elementary School: Khalen Loredo, Luke Scott, Nicholas Richardson and Sienna Robles; Farragut Elementary School: Bodie Jenkins, Kiran Paesel, Lily Chen and Talia Sriro; La Ballona Elementary School: Jason Williams, Maliah Green, Mica Zattelino and Pilar Paez; Linwood E. Howe Elementary School: Aariz Henry, Damari Matthews, Franklin Westbrooks and Paige Maxson.
Photo caption – This year’s Spelling Bee winners celebrate following the event. Pictured above with CCUSD Superintendent Leslie Lockhart, left, and CCUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Tracy Pumilia, right, are, from left, first-place finisher Jason Williams of La Ballona Elementary School; second-place finisher Alexander Rodriguez Y Gibson of Culver City Middle School; and third-place finisher Matthew Briseño of El Marino Language School.