Aiken County students preparing for district Scripps Spelling Bee competition

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Monday, Jan. 13, 2020

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Twelve Aiken County students are studying up for the district competition for the Scripps Spelling Bee.

The winner of Aiken County's competition will move on to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

The county's top spellers will square off on February 6th at the AECOM Center for the Performing Arts.

This year, students from 10 schools will be representing the county:

- Jayden Avancena (Leavelle McCampbell Middle School)
- Colton Banks (Jefferson Elementary School)
- Sienna Canup (Hammond Hill Elementary School)
- Jaq-Leyah Council (J.D. Lever Elementary School)
- Luke Erskine (North Augusta Middle School)
- Lucille Heath (Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School)
- Rena Humes (Kennedy Middle School)
- Payton Key (Chukker Creek Elementary School)
- Peyton Owenby (Leavelle McCampbell Middle School)
- Bradley Peterson (Kennedy Middle School)
- Zaiid Stroman (New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School)
- Liahona Velez (Aiken Intermediate School)

“We are so excited that our winner will have the opportunity once again to compete in the national spelling bee,” stated Christin Sosa-Gaston, who serves as an IPS Coordinator in the department of Federal Programs and as District Spelling Bee Director for Aiken County Public Schools.

“These students, our top spellers, have worked very hard to be their very best and we are expecting to have a great competition. We certainly want to encourage the community to come out and support these fantastic Aiken County students.”

The students competing in Aiken County range from fifth grade to eighth grade.

The alternates will also compete in the absence of a competitor:

- Aaliyah Anderson (Byrd Elementary School)
- Izabella Brower (Paul Knox Middle School)
- Preston Gillespie (Horse Creek Academy)
- Alyssa McLaurin (A.L. Corbett Middle School)
- Harley Wimberly (Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle School)
- Nicklaus Wylds (Jackson STEM Magnet Middle School)

Good luck to all the competitors in this year's competition!

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