Bessie Coleman’s McGrew Wins Cedar Hill ISD Spelling Bee

She had never heard the word before, during hours of studying for the Cedar Hill ISD Spelling Bee.

“I was nervous, but I was so glad I got it right,” said Bessie Coleman Middle School Seventh Grader Saniyah McGrew, who won the 2022 CHISD Spelling Bee on Thursday night at the JoLynn Maddox Teaching & Learning Center.

The winning word was ‘primordial’, which means “in the earliest stages of development.” McGrew won in the fourth round, after becoming the only competitor in that round to spell their word correctly.

McGrew, the eldest of four siblings, ensured that a Bessie Coleman scholar would win the district spelling bee for the second consecutive year. Last year, then-BCMS Sixth Grader Amelia Oum won it.

McGrew said she hopes to defend the district spelling bee in 2023, but first, she will advance to the Dallas County Spelling Bee next month.

In 2020, she qualified for the district Spelling Bee as a Bray Elementary Fifth Grader. In 2016, she won the Bray First Grade Spelling Bee, but the district’s Bee doesn’t start until the fourth grade.

Collegiate Academy Middle School scholars Kasyn Hamid (seventh grade) and Wesley Williams (sixth grade) finished second and third, respectively, in what was the district Spelling Bee debut for both of them.

The 13 competitors and their families adhered to strict social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19, and the microphone was sanitized between each word.

Demond Fernandez of WFAA-TV congratulated McGrew, Hamid and Williams after the Spelling Bee.

Maddox herself gave the welcoming remarks at the beginning of the event.