Peyton Turner Wins Cumberland Spelling Bee

Peyton Turner, a sixth grade student at Cumberland Middle School, won the Cumberland County Public Schools Spelling Bee held February 11, 2021. Peyton is the daughter of Jennifer and Michael Turner of Cumberland. She competed against other grade-level winners from grades 1-8 and successfully spelled “pedestrian” to win in the 23rd round. Runner-up was Emily Eroh, daughter of Jeri and Ronnie Eroh. Grade level winners and runners-up are as follows:

First Grade: 

Winners:  Lucas Ramsey and Aubrey Reny

Runners-up:  Leland Mayes and Hiba Qureshi

Second Grade:

Winners:  Zy’Renae Allen and Richard Greyson Peterson

Runners-up:  Sophia Lopez and Savannah Redford

Third Grade:

Winners:  Aurian Bolden and Steven Long

Runner-up: Adelynn Bristol

Fourth Grade:

Winners:  Alexa (Lexi) Blackwell and Nikki Brandt

Runner-up: Robby Heath

Fifth Grade:

Winner: Karlee Capps

Runner-up: Iziah Brown

Sixth Grade:

Winners: David Sullivan, Jr., and Peyton Turner

Runners-up:  Kamira Holman and Miah Richard

Seventh Grade:

Winner: Kody Kohnen

Runner-up: Cassandra Reny

Eighth Grade:

Winner: Emily Eroh

Runner-up: Steven Mullins, Jr.

The spelling bee took place in the Cumberland High School/Cumberland Middle School Cafetorium. Daryn Woodson-Trent, a CES student, welcomed participants and guests to the event. Mr. Scott Gordon, a CMS/CHS teacher, called the spelling words. After the spelling bee, a reception was held for participants.

District winners receive a one-year subscription to Britannica Online for Kids, courtesy of Scripp’s National Spelling Bee and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Payton then advanced to the regional spelling bee. This year, due to COVID-19, the traditional in-person regional spelling bee was replaced with a two-part virtual program. In Part 1, students competed via the Scripps online testing platform with both spelling and vocabulary, with a 45-minute time limit to complete the test. In Part 2, the students with the five highest scores competed via a private Zoom link to determine the finalist, who would compete in the National Spelling Bee.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee, started in 1925, is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion. Last year, due to the pandemic, was the first year since World War II that the National spelling bee was called off. The National Spelling Bee has returned this year, but in a slightly different format. 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.

Peyton Turner—Spelling Bee Winner:

Winner Peyton Turner correctly spells “pedestrian” to become the CuCPS Spelling Bee champion.



Spelling Bee Winners & Runners-up:

Individual grade level winners and runners-up included the following: FRONT ROW: Lucas Ramsey and Aubrey Reny. SECOND ROW:  Nikki Brandt, Stephen Long, Zy’Renae Allen, Greyson Peterson, and Sophia Lopez. THIRD ROW:  Kody Kohnen, Daryn Woodson-Trent (announcer), Lexi Blackwell, Karlee Capps, and Aurian Bolden. BACK ROW: Emily Eroh, Peyton Turner, Steven Mullins, Jr., and David Sullivan, Jr.