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District Spelling Bee champ repeats

Elizabeth Middle School sixth grader Luci Samaco (above) won her second consecutive District Spelling Bee on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at EMS. Luci, who won last year as a fifth grader from Running Creek Elementary, will again advance to The Denver Post Colorado State Spelling Bee on March 11. Khiya Phillips, a sixth grader at EMS, finished in second place, and Cooper Tobler, a fifth grader from Singing Hills Elementary, finished third.

The district bee featured the top three spellers from EMS, Legacy Academy, Running Creek Elementary and Singing Hills Elementary. One student from Legacy was unable to participate, unfortunately. 

The district bee went 18 rounds and was down to four before all spellers except Luci missed a word, which led to a series of spell-offs to determine their placements. Luci then had a championship word to clinch the top spot, and she spelled “commendable” correctly. 

ESD Board member Craig Blackham served as the pronouncer for the district bee along with a panel of three judges: William Dallas, Ph.D., the interim/assistant superintendent for ESD; Allison Ritter, accounting clerk for the Town of Elizabeth; and Shellie Scobee, student data management specialist for ESD.


Luci Samaco spells a word at the district spelling bee

Contestants at the District Spelling Bee

Cooper Tobler, 3rd place; Luci Samaco, 1st place; Khiya Phillips, 2nd place