Caleb Lipscomb, a sixth grade student at Cumberland Middle School, won the Cumberland County Public Schools Spelling Bee held January 17, 2020. Caleb is the son of Melanie and Chris Cabaniss of Cumberland. He competed against other grade-level winners from grades 1-8 and successfully spelled “dainty” to win in the 17th round. Runner-up was Kamira Holman, daughter of Alesha and Keith Holman of Cumberland. First grade winner was Kinsley Crump, daughter of Scott and Heather Partridge of Cartersville, and runner-up was Greyson Peterson, son of Melanie and Chris Cabaniss. Second grade winner was Addison Bowman, daughter of Chris and Laura Bowman of Cumberland, and runner-up was Nicolas Montanez, son of Jackie Montanez of Cumberland. Third grade winner was Lexi (Alexa) Blackwell, daughter of James and Tracy Blackwell of Cumberland, and runner-up was Alana Jackson-Lewis, daughter of David Jackson, Sr. of Farmville. Fourth grade winner was Karlee Capps, daughter of Elgie and Ann Capps of Cumberland, and runner-up was Makayla Eppes, daughter of Terrell and Sabrina Eppes of Farmville. Fifth grade runner-up was Allahjah Harris, son of Darrell and Tiffany Harris of Cumberland. Sixth grade runner-up was Kamrien Brown, son of Whitney Brown of Cumberland. Seventh grade winner was Brianna Barker, daughter of Jessie and Ashlie Barker of Cartersville, and runner-up was Steven Mullins, son of Stephen and Nichole Mullins of Cumberland. Eighth grade winner was Madison Dayton, daughter of James and Heather Dayton of Cumberland, and runner-up was Omarion Ayers, son of Mark Johnson and Juanita Ayers of Dillwyn.
The spelling bee took place in the Cumberland Elementary School (CES) media center. Maggie Meadows, a CES student, welcomed participants and guests to the event. Mr. Scott Gordon, a CMS/CHS teacher, called the spelling words. The panel of judges included Ms. Nicole Wingo (speech pathologist), Ms. Tiffany Hurt (CMS teacher), and Ms. Helen Ames (CMS teacher). After the spelling bee, a reception was held for participants and their families.
District winners receive a one-year subscription to Britannica Online for Kids, courtesy of Scripp’s National Spelling Bee and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Caleb will advance to the regional competition to be held in March at the Library of Virginia in downtown Richmond. The winner of the Regional Spelling Bee will receive a $1,500 scholarship and an all-expenses-paid family trip to the 2020 Scripps National Spelling Bee, held in the Washington D.C. area. The National winner will receive a $50,000 cash prize and an engraved trophy. In addition, the winner will receive an additional $2,500 and a reference library from Merriam-Webster for Kids.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee, started in 1925, is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion. It is sponsored by the E. W. Scripps Company. Local competitions are co-sponsored by newspapers, such as the Richmond Times-Dispatch, or other high-profile community organizations and businesses. The spelling bee was established to “help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.” To participate in the contest, students must be under 16 years of age, be enrolled in 8th grade or below, and attend a school which has officially enrolled in the program.
Kamira Holman (runner-up) and Caleb Lipscomb (1st place) were the winners of the 2020 Cumberland County Public Schools Spelling Bee.
Individual grade level winners and runners-up included the following: FRONT ROW: Alana Jackson-Lewis, Alexa Blackwell, Makayla Eppes, Addison Bowman, Kinsley Crump, Karlee Capps, and Greyson Peterson. MIDDLE ROW: Allajah Harris, Kamira Holman, Madison Dayton, and Caleb Lipscomb. BACK ROW: Brianna Barker, Omarion Ayers, Steven Mullins, and Kamrien Brown. NOT PICTURED: Nicolas Montanez.