Robious Middle eighth grader wins county spelling bee

Semolina: The purified middlings of hard wheat, according to Merriam-Webster.
Sem•o•li•na: The noun that won the 2017 Chesterfield County Public Schools spelling bee.

This year’s top speller in Chesterfield County Public Schools is Mary Grace Walsh, an eighth-grade student at Robious Middle. She won the countywide spelling bee on Feb. 8, topping a field of 18 Chesterfield students. The spelling bee runner-up is Kamryn Plowden, a seventh-grade student at Midlothian Middle.

The spelling bee lasted nine rounds, and featured 13 students from middle schools and five from elementary schools. Mary Grace correctly spelled semolina to win the competition and will represent Chesterfield County Public Schools in the regional spelling bee on March 11 at the Library of Virginia. The winner of the regional spelling bee will advance to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

“We are in awe of these talented students,” School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “Participating in a nerve-wracking competition is one thing; participating in a nerve-wracking competition in front of an audience, while spelling words that many have not heard of before, is a challenge only a few students can stand up to. We commend these students for their bravery and their academic successes.”

These 18 students represented their schools in the county spelling bee:

  • Davis Elementary fourth-grader Ellerie
  • Gates Elementary fifth-grader Hailey
  • Greenfield Elementary fifth-grader Walker
  • Reams Road Elementary fifth-grader Jacob
  • Swift Creek Elementary fifth-grader Sarah
  • Bailey Bridge Middle eighth-grader Favour
  • Carver Middle seventh-grader Amber
  • Elizabeth Davis Middle eighth-grader Abby
  • Falling Creek Middle eighth-grader Kevin
  • Manchester Middle eighth-grader Tristan
  • Matoaca Middle eighth-grader Kyra
  • Midlothian Middle seventh-grader Kamryn (runner-up)
  • Providence Middle seventh-grader Matthew
  • Robious Middle eighth-grader Mary Grace (champion)
  • Salem Middle sixth-grader Preston
  • Swift Creek Middle seventh-grader Brayden
  • Tomahawk Creek Middle sixth-grader Syed
  • Academy 360 eighth-grader Kuziyah