Marguerite Christian Elementary fourth-grader wins county spelling bee

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Alacrity. Tapirs. Vociferous. Generalissimo. Uncoquettish. Mitochondria. Cabochon.

These were just a few of the words participants in the Chesterfield County Public Schools spelling bee were challenged to spell to be crowned the champion of the countywide spelling bee and advance to the regional spelling bee.

This year’s top speller in Chesterfield County Public Schools is Marguerite Christian Elementary fourth-grader Arinan Johri. He beat out 18 other Chesterfield students to win the countywide spelling bee. The spelling bee runner-up is Aashna Arora, an eighth-grade student at Bailey Bridge Middle.

The spelling bee lasted 15 rounds, and featured 12 students from middle schools and seven from elementary schools. Arinan correctly spelled mouthiness and trespasser to win the competition and will represent Chesterfield County Public Schools in the regional spelling bee on March 17 at the Library of Virginia. The winner of the regional spelling bee will advance to the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland in May.

“We are fortunate and proud to have a plethora of talented and bright students in our school division,” School Board Chair John Erbach said. “A spelling bee is always a challenging competition in which to participate, and we applaud all 19 competitors for the accomplishment of being the top spellers for their individual schools. We will be cheering on Arinan as he competes against students throughout the Richmond region to possibly advance to the national spelling bee.”

These 19 students represented their schools in the county spelling bee:

  • Clover Hill Elementary third-grader Emma Taylor
  • Crestwood Elementary fifth-grader Maddie Cross
  • Davis Elementary fifth-grader Dylan James Freeman
  • Greenfield Elementary fifth-grader Gabrielle Dubois
  • Marguerite Christian fourth-grader Arinan Johri (champion)
  • Reams Road Elementary fourth-grader Elijah Lyons
  • Swift Creek Elementary fifth-grader Keith Henderson
  • Bailey Bridge Middle eighth-grader Aashna Arora (runner-up)
  • Carver Middle eighth-grader Benedict Uzochukwu
  • Elizabeth Davis Middle sixth-grader Jason Love
  • Manchester Middle sixth-grader Charlie Jurgens
  • Matoaca Middle eighth-grader Juliet Aileo
  • Midlothian Middle eighth-grader Colin Knaupp
  • Providence Middle sixth-grader Blaze Minugh
  • Robious Middle eighth-grader Nicolas Carwile
  • Salem Middle eighth-grader Amya Gilliam
  • Swift Creek Middle seventh-grader Reuben Smith
  • Tomahawk Creek Middle sixth-grader Walker Anderson
  • Academy 360 eighth-grader Ian Hudnall