Meinhard heads to national spelling bee

Published 2:05 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The word “idiochromatic” has 13 letters, starting with an “i” and ending with a “c.” For Cumberland County Middle School eighth-grader Baileigh Meinhard, the word’s impact is measureless.

Thanks to Meinhard’s hard work, her correct spelling of “idiochromatic” is what earned her first place at the 45th annual Richmond Times-Dispatch spelling bee Saturday, and what will advance her to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland on May 26.

In addition to competing at the national level, Meinhard also won a $1,500 college scholarship.

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The regional spelling bee competition included approximately 30 fourth through eighth-graders throughout Central Virginia.

Breanna Meinhard Allen, Baileigh’s older sister, said the family was glad to witness Baileigh’s victory.

“I am very shocked and proud of her,” Allen said. “We are excited for her to go to Nationals!”

Dr. Amy Griffin, superintendent of Cumberland County Public Schools (CUCPS), said Baileigh’s win was momentous not only her and her family, but for the school division. Baileigh is the first CUCPS to win the regional spelling bee.

“The CUCPS family and community are so proud of Baileigh for winning the Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee.,” Griffin said in a statement. “The fact that she contributes her win to her love of reading warms my heart. She has made history at CUCPS by winning the regional spelling bee and we look forward to her advancing to Nationals.”