Jazmine Smith, an eighth-grade student at John Hanson Middle School, won the Charles County Public Schools 31st annual Spelling Bee held Feb. 27, at Milton M. Somers Middle School by spelling the word “kinesiology” correctly.

 As the county winner, Smith advances to the National Scripps Belling Bee scheduled for May 26-28 in Washington D.C. Dang-Quang Tran, a seventh-grade student at Mattawoman Middle School, won second place. Additionally, teams from each competing school are awarded points based on student performance during each round.

The first-place team performance was from Mattawoman. Team members are eighth graders Gabrielle Chan, Gaston Lopez and Kha-Ai Tran, and seventh graders Dang-Quang Tran and Mohammad Qureshi. The team coach is Nina Hargis, a language arts teacher at Mattawoman. As the first-place winners, the Mattawoman team was awarded a special plaque to display in the school. 

The second-place team was from Archbishop Neale School. Team members are seventh graders Victoria Fitzgerald, Sarah LeBarron, Kip Vogel and Abigail Carpenter, and eighth grader Kevin Hartnett. Team coaches are Susan Vogel and Brenda Simpson.

The third-place team was from Hanson. Team members include Smith, and eighth graders Jonah Gillens, Michael Sartori and Omari Thompson, and sixth grader Nicole Lusk. Team coach is Linda Buffalo, a language arts teacher at Hanson.

The fourth-place team was from Somers. Team members are seventh grader Victoria Strough and eighth graders Meghan Griffiths, Melissa Kret, Numa Robertson and Alex Smith. Team coach is Lynn Hopkins, a language arts teacher at Somers.

The spelling bee is sponsored by CCPS, the College of Southern Maryland, the Maryland Independent, the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc., and Chaney Enterprises.