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Top spellers from 19 Newton schools to compete in systemwide Bee Friday
Rylan Yeager
From left, 2022 county spelling bee winner Rylan Yeager of Heard-Mixon Elementary School and runner-up Cameron Rutberg of Newton County Theme School are shown with the trophies they won. - photo by Tom Spigolon

COVINGTON, Ga. — Students will soon compete to determine who is the best speller in the county when Newton County School System hosts the district Spelling Bee on Friday, January 13, at 10:30 a.m. at Porter Performing Arts Center. 

Champions from elementary and middle schools in the district will take part in the competition. Students in grades four through eight were eligible to participate in their school competitions. Should the school champion be unable to participate, the runnerup will serve as alternate and compete in the Bee to represent the school.

2023 District Spelling Bee Competitors:


• East Newton Elementary, Dustin Lizama, Karolina Curtis

• Fairview Elementary, Dani Blackwell, Danny Suarez

• Flint Hill Elementary, Willow Griffin, Tristan Lloyd

• Heard-Mixon Elementary, Joaquin Burgess, Maira Majeed

• Live Oak Elementary, Dylan Williams, Muhammad Traore

• Livingston Elementary, Gavin Bernard, Emily Mendez

• Mansfield Elementary, Gabriel Blankenship, Cordavius Smith, Jr.

• Middle Ridge Elementary, Cameron Jones, Jayce Franklin

• Oak Hill Elementary, Anthony Hortman, Kevin Putman

• Porterdale Elementary, Torin Petty, Liam Hearne

• Rocky Plains Elementary, Zachary Valles, Michael De Leon Dicent

• South Salem Elementary, David Parrales, Cayden Harris

• West Newton Elementary, Danny Vega, Shrue Lana Olter

• Clements Middle, Dmiya Hawkins, Marisol Lopez Avila

• Cousins Middle, Hannah Elasri, Kaylee Hedrick

• Indian Creek Middle, Kenneth Jackson, Rylan Yeager

• Liberty Middle, (Hoai) An Hoang, Raya Cannon

• Newton County Theme School, Carson Johnson, Tegan Smith

• Veterans Memorial Middle, Wellesley Haye, Kayla Carter

“Even in the technology rich world that we live in today, spelling continues to be an important tool because the written word is so powerful,” said Benjamin B. Roundtree, NCSS Chief Academic Officer. 

“Among other things, the spelling bee supports our students’ learning by enhancing their understanding of vocabulary relative to spelling and by promoting correct word usage. Indeed, spelling bee competitions in our schools continue to be highly anticipated events, and we are happy to continue this venerable tradition.”

The winner of the Newton County School System Spelling Bee will represent the school district in the Region 5 Spelling Bee on Feb. 25 at Edwards Middle School in Conyers.