Nearly 50 young spellers representing Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park will compete Friday, March 22, for the right to represent the community at the Scripps National Spelling Bee this spring.
The spellers, pictured on these two pages, all won elementary or middle school spelling bees to advance to the regional bee, sponsored by InsideNoVa/Prince William and the Bel-Air Woman’s Club. Additional sponsors of this year’s bee are the Julie and Buck Waters Foundation and SPARK, the Prince William Public Schools Education Foundation.
Among this year’s winners are a kindergartner, Zaid Usman, 6, of Fannie W. Fitzgerald Elementary School; a first-grader, Liana Dereje, 6, of George Carr Round Elementary School; and two second-graders, Levi Kouts, 8, of Samuel L. Gravely Elementary School, and Lily Lu, 7, of J.W. Alvey Elementary School.
Other competitors include 2018 runner-up Bethelle Lanquaye, an eighth-grader at St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School, and Ethan Kirsch, an eighth-grader representing the Home Organization of Parent Educators, who tied for second in the 2017 regional bee.
The defending champion, Simran Patibanda, who also won in 2016, is no longer eligible for the bee, which only includes students through eighth grade.
The winner of the Prince William Regional Spelling Bee will advance to the national spelling bee, May 26-31 at Gaylord National Harbor.
Click on the pages below to see all of the students competing March 22.