Our Schools

MISD Names New Spelling Bee Champion

The Mansfield ISD Spelling Bee, sponsored by Mansfield Sunrise Rotary Club, is an annual tradition that mixes fundamental learning and friendly competition.

Best spellers from Mansfield ISD’s elementary, intermediate and middle schools competed in the district spelling bee on Jan. 22.

This year’s competition was a little more unique with heightened safety and health protocols, but the essence of spelling a broad spectrum of words correctly remained the same.

With the winning word of “encore,” Dejanira Castillo from Asa Low Intermediate School took home the top prize. She beat 37 other students to be the district’s spelling bee champion. She said her technique was to trust her gut.

“I was trying to find it in my brain,” the fifth-grader explained. “I just kind of closed my eyes, and I thought, ‘It feels like I’ve seen this word before.’

The 10-year-old couldn’t help but to jump up and down when she realized she successfully spelled the word.

“I felt amazing, and I immediately closed my eyes and thanked God.” Castillo said.

Castillo is enrolled in MISD’s Virtual Learning Academy, the district’s online school. Virtual Learning Academy winners from the elementary, intermediate and middle school level were a new addition this year.

“I thought the icing on the cake is that our winner was one of our Virtual Academy students,” said Sarah McMurrough, English language arts instructional coach. “To me, it just proves that our virtual learners are still learning, and they’re still involved in school.”

Organizers said pulling this contest off took teamwork from campuses, staff members, students and the community, but it was done safely and without a hitch.

Castillo will advance to the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee. The winner will represent the region in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

MISD Spelling Bee Contestants



Charlotte Anderson Elementary

Brady Grey

J. L. Boren Elementary

Michael "Griffin" Woodard

Janet Brockett Elementary

Shane Gibler

Willie Brown Academy of Young Scholars

Jayden Howell-McCurdy

Louise Cabaniss Academy for Young Scholars

Holden Willamson

Anna May Daulton Elementary

Omar Brown

Kenneth Davis Elementary

Miracle Awujo

Imogene Gideon Elementary

Nada Al Mayahi

Glenn Harmon Elementary

Khalid Khalid

Carol Holt Elementary

Slade Wood

Thelma Jones Elementary

Phoebe Iyoke

Judy K. Miller Elementary

Cameron Phomsengdy

D. P. Morris Elementary

Kaleb Berry

Erma Nash Elementary

Noah Romero

Nancy Neal Elementary

Ellis Cottrell

Annette Perry Elementary

Dahlia Nguyen

Alice Ponder Elementary

Noah Ruiz

Martha Reid Leadership Academy

Robert Fisher

Mary Jo Sheppard Elementary

Autumn Linwood-Cotton

Elizabeth Smith Innovative Learning Academy

Ean Dalley

Cora Spencer Elementary

Wyatt Lyles

Tarver-Rendon School of Agricultural Leadership

Kaylyn Marstaller

Roberta Tipps Elementary

Jayden Hill

Cross Timbers Intermediate

Anthony Nieto

Della Icenhower Intermediate

Santiago Flores

Mary Lillard Intermediate

Zain Durrani (runner-up)

Asa Low Intermediate

Hanna Sharif

Mary Orr Intermediate

Aaron Fung

Donna Shepard Leadership Academy

Sophia Graham

James Coble Middle

Sofia Rahman

T. A. Howard Middle

Mohammed Koudy

Linda Jobe Middle

Jaxson Latimer

Danny Jones Middle

Dakota Dickerson

Brooks Wester Middle /
Jerry Knight STEM Academy

Joshua Oyerokun

Rogene Worley Middle

Edward Mello

Virtual Learning Academy - Elementary

Edward Lam

Virtual Learning Academy - Intermediate

Dejanira Castillo (winner)

Virtual Learning Academy - Middle

Drew Dazey