Culver City Edition Education Local News

Local students wins national spelling bee

CULVER CITY — Culver City High School senior Cooper Komatsu was the winner of the 15th annual National Adult Spelling Bee was hosted by Justin Rudd’s nonprofit Community Action Team at Bay Shore Church in Long Beach March 8. 

Spellers came from as far away as Louisiana and Texas to compete in the bee, which lasted three and a half hours and 33 rounds. Komatsu, 17, won by correctly spelling “schnorrer” and “tachyon” in the final rounds. 

He said he would donate half of his $1,000 prize to Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., an environmental advocacy group headquartered in New York City. He also won last year’s National Adult Spelling Bee.

Komatsu is no stranger to spelling contest. While a student at Culver City Middle School he participated in two consecutive Scripps National Spelling Bees in National Harbor, Maryland. He made it to the semifinal round as a seventh grader in 2015 and finished seventh in the country the following year as an eighth grader.

Second place went to Dean Alkhairym, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Newport Beach, after misspelling “telamon.” Third place went to Lindsey Kiser from San Carlos, who misspelled “tetragrammaton” in round 28. Fourth place went to Mitch Powell of Santa Ana, after he incorrectly spelled “boule” in round 21.

Other words spelled in final rounds included, “kapellmeister,” “chaetognath,” “cachinnate,” “chatoyant,” and “patagruelian.”

Kate Karp serves as the pronouncer for the bee. She won the National Adult Spelling Bee in its first year.

Wave Staff Report