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