Persisting through more than five hours and 14 rounds, Chatsworth Hills Academy eighth-grader Rebecca Baron became the top speller in all of Los Angeles County, outperforming the 103 students who competed in the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee held Feb. 2 at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood.
Baron will go on to represent Los Angeles in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, this May.
Baron's win was made all the more dramatic due to an appeal that was filed after she had been awarded the championship trophy. Rebecca was originally crowned the winner when she correctly spelled “Einsteinium” to win the round, then “bastide” to clinch the championship. After the appeal, she was asked to spell another championship word. Undeterred by the setback and the late hour, Baron confidently and correctly spelled “geanticline,” confirming her place as spelling bee champion.
According to materials provided by the Los Angeles County Scripps Regional Spelling Bee, 27,386 students from 103 schools in 25 districts competed for a chance to represent their school in the county final. This was Baron’s third time in the competition. Last year she placed second to this year’s second place finisher.
“I’m in shock, but a good kind of shock,” said Baron after being handed the trophy for the second and final time. “I’m proud of all my hard work and amazed that I won. I’m extremely thankful for all the support I received from my teachers and friends at Chatsworth Hills Academy as well as my family. I’m really excited to represent Los Angeles in Washington, DC.”
“Rebecca is an amazing young lady with incredible drive and perseverance. Perhaps the best part of the story is that her kindheartedness and sense of fairness were also evident throughout the rigorous events of the evening,” said Ann Gillinger, head of school. “We are proud to have her as part of our CHA family.”
Chatsworth Hills Academy is an independent college preparatory school serving students from Early Childhood (ages 2 1/2 – 5) through grade 8. CHA is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is accredited by both the California Association of Independent Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Students reside primarily in the San Fernando Valley, including Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Northridge, Granada Hills, Woodland Hills, and West Hills.