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Friday, February 9, 2018

MISD’s Youngest District Spelling Bee Champ Reclaims Title

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It was a familiar feeling for 13-year-old Kailey Choi to be on stage holding the district spelling bee plaque.

The eighth-grader from T.A. Howard Middle School made her debut at the Mansfield ISD District Spelling Bee when she was in third grade and became MISD’s youngest champion.

In the following years, Choi qualified for the competition but fell short of the first place title. That is, until this year’s contest, which is the last year she will be able to participate in the event.

“It’s like a legacy,” she said. “I won first, and I won last.”

Choi competed with campus winners from MISD’s elementary, intermediate and middle schools to earn the district title. She won in the ninth round with the word “infrastructure.”

Choi's father and principal came to support her.
“When I heard the word, I freaked out; but then I calmed myself down and said it letter by letter,” Choi explained.

Organizers of the Feb. 9 event, sponsored by the Mansfield Sunshine Rotary Club, said they have been preparing for it since September. It takes work to coordinate each campus bee and the district competition, but they said the end result is satisfying.

“My favorite part of the spelling bee is seeing those kids on stage with their eager faces and all of their study skills and habits coming into fruition,” said Kristi Gonzales, MISD coordinator of elementary language arts.

Gonzales added that spelling bees help students with communication skills and self-confidence.

Choi will be going off to high school next year and will not be eligible to compete, but she gave her advice for those wanting to earn the next district title.

“What you have to do is strive for it, study and be calm.”

The spelling bee champ will now prepare for the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee on March 1 at Texas Christian University. When she appeared at the event five years ago, she lasted 14 rounds.

MISD Spelling Bee Campus Winners
Alice Ponder Elementary
Dinh Luong
Anna May Daulton Elementary
Prince Olowookere
Annette Perry Elementary
Riley Myrow
Asa Low Intermediate
Samantha Malone
Brooks Wester Middle School
Emmanuel Allison
Carol Holt Elementary
Emily Trinh
Charlotte Anderson Elementary
Daniel Ogiozee
Cora Spencer Elementary
Kaleb Giggins
Cross Timbers Intermediate
Tiffany Lam (district runner-up)
D. P. Morris Elementary
Amina Allen
Danny Jones Middle School
Zoe Leddy
Della Icenhower Intermediate
Ayush Shah
Donna Shepard Intermediate
Jaxson Latimer
Elizabeth Smith Elementary
Caden Overby
Erma Nash Elementary
Joseph Oehlke
Glenn Harmon Elementary
Omar Akkad
Imogene Gideon Elementary
Adebola Adeshola
J. L. Boren Elementary
Mariam Dohadwala
James Coble Middle School
Yvaine Penaranda
Janet Brockett Elementary
Marli Field
Judy Miller Elementary
Zain Durrani
Kenneth Davis Elementary
Josiah Smith
Linda Jobe Middle School
Ruth Oyerokun
Louise Cabaniss Elementary
Lucy Duku
Martha Reid Elementary
Angel Brefro
Mary Jo Sheppard Elementary
Marcus Jones
Mary Lillard Intermediate
Collin Overby
Mary Orr Intermediate
Noah Gakuba
Nancy Neal Elementary
Kamryn Ross
Roberta Tipps Elementary
Ryu Cheng
Rogene Worley Middle School
Tojumi Olayiwole
T. A. Howard Middle School
Kailey Choi  (district winner)
Tarver-Rendon Elementary
Joshua Oyerokun
Thelma Jones Elementary
Hailey Alajandre
Willie Brown Elementary
Tej Marimuthu