Culver City Observer -

Cooper Komatsu Earns CCUSD Spelling Bee Crown


February 25, 2013

Cooper Komatsu stood tall and confidently spelled the word L-E-X-I-C-O-L-O-G-Y to take home the Eighth Annual culver city Unified School District Spelling Bee title on February 20 at Linwood E. Howe Elementary School.

The fifth-grader from El Marino Language School finished atop 23 other spellers – four students from each of the district’s five elementary schools and culver city Middle School competed.

Last year, Komatsu and his partner, Lily Haines from Indiana, finished seventh in the nation in the 2012 National School Scrabble Championship in Orlando, Florida.

The pair notched a 5-2 record with a +645 point differential in their seven games.

The tournament featured the best young Scrabble players in grades 4-8 from throughout the United States and Canada. He was the first fourth-grader ever to finish in the tournament’s Top 10.

At the 2013 Spelling Bee, Komatsu took home a first-place trophy and a cash prize courtesy of Westfield culver city, which sponsored the event. He will advance to the Los Angeles County Spelling Bee, which will be held at 4 p.m. on March 27 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.

Westfield also presented a trophy to second-place finisher Darya Treanor of Farragut Elementary School; and a trophy to third-place finisher Grace Jacobsen of Linwood E. Howe Elementary 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.

The CCUSD Spelling Bee will be broadcast on local television on Channel 35.

Culver City Middle School

Isabel Berliner Josh Nascimento

Kenzi Bishara Ben Vizcarra-Barton

El Marino Language School

Cooper Komatsu Chase McGill

Joshua Nisenson Sofia Stuart

El Rincon Elementary School

Willow Guy Joaquin Krygowski

Eyobed Lemma Aidan Martin

Farragut Elementary School

Roshan Chhetri Miles Concepcion

Samir Mallya Darya Treanor

La Ballona Elementary School

Julianna DeNeve Rikesh Patel

Rukhsar Shaikh Layla Van Buren

Linwood E. Howe Elementary School

Sophia Coon Grace Jacobsen

June Metzler Ruby Walsleben


IMG_0213.JPG – This year’s Spelling Bee winners celebrate following the event. Pictured are, from left, second-place finisher Darya Treanor of Farragut; Eileen Carroll, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services; Superintendent Dave LaRose; first-place finisher Cooper Komatsu of El Marino; CCUSD Board of Education Vice President Nancy Goldberg; and third-place finisher Grace Jacobsen of Linwood E. Howe.

2013 02 Maleman 344.JPG – Cooper Komatsu smiles after spelling a word correctly on his way to winning the 2013 CCUSD Spelling Bee.

Photos by Glenn Marzano


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