This year’s top speller in Chesterfield County Public Schools is Mary Grace Walsh, an eighth-grade student at Robious Middle. She won the countywide spelling...

This year’s top speller in Chesterfield County Public Schools is Mary Grace Walsh, an eighth-grade student at Robious Middle. She won the countywide spelling bee Feb. 8, topping a field of 18 Chesterfield students. The spelling bee runner-up is Kamryn Plowden, a seventh-grade student at Midlothian Middle.

The spelling bee lasted nine rounds, and it featured 13 students from middle schools and five from elementary schools. Mary Grace correctly spelled semolina to win the competition, and she will represent Chesterfield County Public Schools in the regional spelling bee March 11 at the Library of Virginia. The winner of the regional spelling bee will advance to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

“We are in awe of these talented students,” school board chair Javaid Siddiqi said. “Participating in a nerve-racking competition is one thing; participating in a nerve-wracking competition in front of an audience while spelling words that many have not heard of before is a challenge only a few students can stand up to.

We commend these students for their bravery and their academic successes.”

These 18 students represented their schools in the county spelling bee:

Davis Elementary fourth-grader Ellerie Connors
Gates Elementary fifth-grader Hailey Donithan
Greenfield Elementary fifth-grader Walker Anderson
Reams Road Elementary fifth-grader Jacob Crawford
Swift Creek Elementary fifth-grader Sarah Lambert
Bailey Bridge Middle eighth-grader Favour Akadir
Carver Middle seventh-grader Amber Watters
Elizabeth Davis Middle eighth-grader Abby Schuchart
Falling Creek Middle eighth-grader Kevin Irvin
Manchester Middle eighth-grader Tristan Weigand
Matoaca Middle eighth-grader Kyra Hutchins
Midlothian Middle seventh-grader Kamryn Plowden (runner-up)
Providence Middle seventh-grader Matthew Ryan
Robious Middle eighth-grader Mary Grace Walsh (champion)
Salem Middle sixth-grader Preston Jeter
Swift Creek Middle seventh-grader Brayden Regis
Tomahawk Creek Middle sixth-grader Syed Hasan
Academy 360 eighth-grader Kuziyah Mells