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C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N: Dorothea Viner wins Aiken County Spelling Bee Competition

The Amentum Center for Performing Arts in Aiken was filled Monday night with teachers and family who came to support the 15 contestants competing in the Aiken County Public School District’s Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals.

Dorothea Viner, 10, of Belvedere Elementary School won the competition after spelling the compound word “Erlenmeyer flask.”

The soft-spoken winner was surrounded by family after collecting her prizes and posing for photos.

“I just wanted to go and hug her. She was phenomenal,” said Uyen Griffis, a contest judge and District Teacher of the Year.

“I was just beaming for each one of them because I feel like they were my own kids up there,” Griffis said about the other contestants. “You could just tell they were so determined.”

Other judges included retired Aiken Standard editor Jeff Wallace and Micki Dove, the district’s director of curriculum support.

The top five contestants of this spelling bee will compete in the regional spelling bee sponsored by the Carolina Panthers at their indoor practice facility in the Atrium Health Dome. This event will be held on March 16 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Along with Viner, the top five will include runner-up Grant Kreitzer of New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School, Jada Brown of Aiken Intermediate School, Carter Little of Jackson STEM Magnet Middle School and Caleb Rojas Bohn of Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle School.

Other participating contestants were Reece Brubaker of Kennedy Middle School; Max Hunter of New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School; Tristan Reid of Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School; Kenner Mujica of Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School; Cager Hogan of Aiken Intermediate School; Reid McKinney of Clearwater Elementary School; Breana Herrera of Leavelle McCampbell Middle School; Keegan Cobb of Paul Knox Middle School; and Danica Bressler of Aiken Innovate School.


Erin Weeks/Aiken Standard