Bessie Coleman Scholar Wins Cedar Hill ISD Spelling Bee

The definition of the word is ‘the hard, light-colored timber of a Central American tree.’

But it is mostly commonly associated with a type of pasta dish.

Regardless, Bessie Coleman Middle School Sixth Grader Amelia Oum didn’t pause or hesitate before correctly spelling ‘Primavera’ to win the Cedar Hill ISD Spelling Bee, in the eighth round, on Thursday night at the CHISD Teaching and Learning Center.

This year’s Spelling Bee had a different look and feel to it. The 11 contestants, as well as parents, administrators and judges were all socially distanced, due to COVID-19. The microphone was cleaned after each speaker and contestant.

Still, the event was as competitive as ever with six of the 11 contestants advancing to the third round.

Oum was proud of her victory, stating that this was her fourth district spelling bee. Last year, she finished fourth.

“Before each competition, I write down words, study definitions and pronunciations,” Oum said.

Both Oum and Lake Ridge Elementary Fourth Grader Minh Doan will advance to the Dallas County Spelling Bee, February 18-20. It will be held online this year, due to COVID-19.

Oum, Doan and Collegiate Prep Fourth Grader Brayden Weaver each received a trophy.

“We are so proud of our scholar,” Bessie Coleman Principal Jared Peters said.

After the Spelling Bee, Oum took a photo with CHISD Board Vice President Robert Riggs and Trustee Esther Denise Roache-Davis.