It took students representing grades five through eight 17 rounds of spelling words like “euphonious” and “reticulated” to determine the top speller during the annual Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPA) spelling championship.
Eleven spellers sat quietly for the showdown in the auditorium at L.C. Bird High School the evening of Feb. 3. As each stood up to the microphone, it wasn’t too long before misspellings came due to words like “frou frou” and “mauve.” It was during the 16th round, with two spellers remaining, when the word “regatta” stumped Daniel Adams, an eighth-grade student from Matoaca Middle School. Ruhan Farsin, an eighth-grader representing Midlothian Middle School, completed the 17th round by spelling the word “aristocracy.” Spelling the word correctly, Farsin became the 2011 champion speller and will represent Chesterfield County during the regional meet scheduled for March 5. He also was presented a Webster’s Dictionary by Randi Smith, CCPS Instructional Specialist.
Farsin was runner-up in last year’s competition. “Last year I was not so into it,” he said. “This year, I thought I had the potential.” Farsin is the son of Parvis Akter and Akm Sulaman. His mother served as his coach, working with a word list of more than 1,000 words. Beaming with joy, she said about his win: “Oh my God, can’t you see it on my face.”
As runner-up, Adams will attend the regional if Farsin is unable to. Adams said he practiced for over a month and found being onstage stressful. His father, Patrick Adams said, “I am extremely proud of him, he did a great job.”
Contestants representing elementary schools were Kate Comer, grade five, from Ecoff Elementary and Trinity Ta, also grade five, from Jacobs Road Elementary.
Along with Farsin and Adams, representing middle schools were: Angela Tufano, grade six, representing Bailey Bridge Middle; Savion Singh, grade seven, representing Carver Middle; Hunter Franz, grade eight, representing Davis Middle; Josh Evans, grade seven, representing Falling Creek Middle; Hannah Durfee, grade eight, representing Manchester Middle; Skyla Williams, grade seven, representing Providence Middle; Michael Benos, grade seven, representing Robious Middle; Jordan Wright, grade eight, representing Swift Creek Middle; and Matthew Matherley, grade eight, representing Tomohawk Creek Middle. Sabrina Hartle, grade eight, representing Salem Church Middle was unable to attend.
Weslaine and Demond Denson, parents of Savion Singh, were very proud of all the contestants making the championship. “Just getting here and being able to represent Carver is a great accomplishment,” Weslaine Denson said of his son’s achievement.
Pronouncer for the event was Cheryl J. Moss. Judges were Randi Smith, Johanna Burks, Karen Newcomb, Wayne Motley and Catherine Rosenbaum.