WAXHAW – Sandy Ridge Elementary third-grader Alexia Vega is no stranger to spelling bees, having spent most of her life watching older sister Eva compete in them at the local, regional and national level.
But it was finally Alexia’s turn to shine at the UCPS Spelling Bee on Jan. 24
After breezing through 14 rounds, spelling words such as “anschluss” and “altiplano,” the 8-year-old clinched the competition by correctly spelling the word “doyenne.” Doyenne means a respected or highly skilled woman.
“I’m really happy that I won the competition and I’m excited to go to the next level,” Alexia said, standing next to Eva. “My sister helped me prepare by asking me words.”
Each of the district’s 40 elementary and middle schools sent their school level champion to the UCPS Spelling Bee. For nearly three hours, students spelled words such as pochismo, libretto, obsequious and nougat.
It was a nerve-wracking experience to be on the other side of a spelling bee and watch her sister compete, Eva said. As a ninth-grader, Eva is no longer able to compete in the district’s spelling bee competition.
“I’m really proud of her but I was so nervous when she was up there. Now I finally feel what my parents felt all those years,” Eva said, laughing.
Weddington Middle student Daniel Wei went head-to-head with Marvin Ridge Middle student Samir Copp before correctly spelling “reticule” to earn the first runner-up.
Alexia will represent UCPS at the 65th annual Charlotte Observer Regional Spelling Bee in February.
Elementary School Champions – Kovida Katru, Antioch; Lilli Hill, Benton Heights; Kareli Cuaxinque-Morales, East; Emily Nunez-Rivera, Fairview; Max Mendlik, Hemby Bridge; Kendall Graham, Indian Trail; Dhruva Kritam, Kensington; Annabel Ortiz, Marshville; Rushika Mahavadi, Marvin; Nayla Hill, New Salem; Kate Ann O’Brien, New Town; Matthew Brame, Poplin; Brihanna Ashcraft, Porter Ridge; Emma Krimminger, Prospect; Samhita Desaraju, Rea View; Jahaun Allen, Rock Rest; Dylan Belmont, Rocky River; Alexia Vega, Sandy Ridge; Garrett Lents, Sardis; Mariella Clark, Shiloh; Ayah Khan, Stallings; Abigail Cruz, Sun Valley; Isaiah Williams, Union; Mylee Cassells, Unionville; Thomas Spencer, Walter Bickett; Jackson Leighton, Waxhaw; Harini Rajakumar, Weddington; Ella Klingensmith, Wesley Chapel; Elli Lynch, Western Union; and Miles Lacroix, Wingate.
Middle school Champions – Kaitlyn Heyward, Cuthbertson; Knight Perez, East Union; Madison Cooke, Health Sciences Academy at Monroe; Samir Copp, Marvin Ridge; Maranda Earley, Parkwood; Noah Jauregui, Piedmont; Ben Barach, Porter Ridge; Isabella Delucca, Sun Valley; and Daniel Wei, Weddington.