Aashka Patel, a seventh-grade student at Milton M. Somers Middle School, earned the title of the county’s top speller at the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) 36th annual Spelling Bee held Feb. 21 at Somers. Patel spelled the word “cynosure,” which means something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance or something serving for guide or direction, to earn first place. As the Charles County winner, Patel advances to the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled for May 25-31 in Washington D.C.
Stephen Duranske, a seventh grader at John Hanson Middle School, earned second place in the competition, followed by Danielle Williams, an eighth grader at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, in third place. Additionally, teams from each competing school are awarded points based on student performance during each round.
The Somers team earned first place for their team performance. Along with Patel, team members are eighth grader Matthew Davis, seventh graders Michael Gill and Anna Maynard, and sixth grader Joseph Lee. Team coaches are Somers language arts teachers Lynn Hopkins and Fara Walent. As the first-place team winner, the Somers team was awarded a special plaque to display in the school.
Students from all Charles County public middle schools and county private schools are invited annually to participate in the event. The spelling bee is sponsored by CCPS, the College of Southern Maryland, the Maryland Independent, Chaney Enterprises and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SMECO).
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, central office building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646. 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.