El Marino 5th Grader Wins Culver City Unified School District Spelling Bee

Cooper Komatsu will now advance to the Los Angeles County competition.

El Marino Language School 5th grader Cooper Komatsu won the Culver City Unified School District’s Eighth Annual Spelling Bee on Feb. 20 by successfully spelling L-E-X-I-C-O-L-O-G-Y.

Cooper beat out 23 other competitors at the event held at Culver City’s Linwood E. Howe Elementary School. Along with a first-place trophy and a cash prize courtesy of Westfield Culver City, which sponsored the event, Cooper will now advance to the Los Angeles County Spelling Bee, which will be held at 4 p.m. on March 27 at Almansor Court, 700 S. Almansor St., in Alhambra. The winner of that competition will advance to the statewide spelling bee in Sonoma in May.

Westfield also presented a trophy to second-place finisher Darya Treanor of Farragut Elementary School and a trophy to third-place finisher Grace Jacobsen of Linwood E. Howe Elementary School.

In addition, each participant received a certificate of commendation signed by the District’s superintendent congratulating him or her on reaching the Spelling Bee finals. The CCUSD Spelling Bee will be broadcast on local television on Channel 35.

Cooper’s word skills extend beyond spelling bees. Last year, Cooper and his partner, Lily Haines from Indiana, finished seventh in the nation in the 2012 National School Scrabble Championship in Orlando, Florida. The tournament featured the best young Scrabble players in grades 4-8 from throughout the United States and Canada, and Cooper was the first fourth-grader ever to finish in the tournament’s Top 10.

Below is a list of all the participants that took place in the CCUSD Spelling Bee. Congratulations to them all.

Culver City Middle School

Isabel Berliner   Josh Nascimento

Kenzi Bishara   Ben Vizcarra-Barton


El Marino Language School

Cooper Komatsu   Chase McGill

Joshua Nisenson   Sofia Stuart


El Rincon Elementary School

Willow Guy   Joaquin Krygowski

Eyobed Lemma  Aidan Martin


Farragut Elementary School

Roshan Chhetri   Miles Concepcion

Samir Mallya   Darya Treanor


La Ballona Elementary School

Julianna DeNeve     Rikesh Patel

Rukhsar Shaikh     Layla Van Buren


Linwood E. Howe Elementary School

Sophia Coon     Grace Jacobsen

June Metzler     Ruby Walsleben

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