Jason Williams reigns as CCUSD Spelling bee champ; advances to county competition

2020 Spelling Bee winners – This year’s Spelling Bee winners celebrate following the event. Pictured with CCUSD Superintendent Leslie Lockhart, left, and CCUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Tracy Pumilia, right, are, from left, first-place finisher Jason Williams of La Ballona Elementary School; second-place finisher Alexander Rodriguez Y Gibson of Culver City Middle School; and third-place finisher Matthew Briseño of El Marino Language School. Photo courtesy of Geoff Maleman


Jason Williams stood tall and confidently spelled the word P-R-E-V-I-O-U-S to take home the 15th Annual Culver City Unified School District Spelling Bee title on February 20 at Robert Frost Auditorium. The fifth-grader from La Ballona Elementary School finished atop 23 other spellers – four students from each of the district’s five elementary schools and Culver City Middle School competed.

Williams also took home a first-place trophy and a $200 cash prize courtesy of the Culver City Education Foundation, which sponsored the event. He will advance to the Los Angeles County Spelling Bee, which will be held on March 18 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.

The Culver City Education Foundation also presented a trophy and $150 in cash to second-place finisher Alexander Rodriguez Y. Gibson, a sixth-grader from Culver City Middle School; and a trophy and $100 in cash to third-place finisher Matthew Briseño, a fourth-grader from El Marino Language 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.

Congratulations to all of the Spelling Bee finalists:


Culver City Middle School

Alexander Rodriguez Y Gibson

Charlotte Sasson

Orion Chow Countryman

Payton Lin


El Marino Language School

Emma Monges

Jacob Zeitlin

Matthew Briseño

Westley Watson


El Rincon Elementary School

Khalen Loredo

Luke Scott

Nicholas Richardson

Sienna Robles


Farragut Elementary School

Bodie Jenkins

Kiran Paesel

Lily Chen

Talia Sriro


La Ballona Elementary School

Jason Williams

Maliah Green

Mica Zattelino

Pilar Paez


Linwood E. Howe Elementary School

Aariz Henry

Damari Matthews

Franklin Westbrooks

Paige Maxson