This past Saturday, February 27, several young and talented African American 6th- 8th grade spellers from Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria and Galveston counties convened at the Heiman Theater at the Houston Community College, Central Campus, to compete in the 2016 African American National Spelling Bee Championships (AANSBC), affectionately known as (“The Bee”).
After a very challenging competition, the winner of the 2016 AANSBC was Isaiah Samuels, a 7th grade student from Northeast Christian Academy. The winning word was “misogynist,” and with the first-place win, Isaiah claimed the first-place prize of a $1,000 scholarship.
Coming in second-place, and receiving a $500 scholarship, was Michael Minix, an 8th grade student from KIPP Polaris Academy for Boys. The third-place winner, Rylan Carroll, a 6th grade student from Frank Black Middle School, was the recipient of a $250 scholarship.
Mickey McGill, with Ameriprise Financial, will guide the parents in creating their 529 college plans with the winning scholarship funds.
Sponsors for “The Bee” in 2016 included Houston Forward Times, Power Finance Texas, Comerica Bank, Ameriprise Financial, Greater Houston Black Chamber, 100 Black Men Metropolitan Houston, Big Star Ford, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, Galena Park Striders, The Harris Law Firm, The Hadi Law Firm, the 1,000 Men Empowerment Group, LLC, Put it in a Book Foundation, World Youth Foundation, Houston Branch NAACP, Houston Area Urban League and EVisions Events.
Chauncy Glover, KTRK ABC-13 anchor/reporter, served as the Master of Ceremonies; Mary Benton, former reporter at KPRC Channel 2 was the pronouncer; and Judge Elaine Palmer, attorney Michael R. Harris and Judge Hazel Jones served as the competition judges.
The other 2016 AANSBC contestants were: Justice Abu-Sanu – KIPP Polaris Academy for Boys; Lawrence Britton – Cobb Sixth Grade Campus; Exodus Broussard – Black Middle School; Daria Bush – Cobb Sixth Grade Campus; Denisha Cloud – Black Middle School; Alya Colbert – Black Middle School; Jannah Collins – Black Middle School; Erin Copeland – Cobb Sixth Grade Campus; Gianna Eaton – Rogers Middle School; Montrell Edwards – Our Lady of Quadalupe School; Raven Flowers – Key Middle School; Ryan Glover – KIPP Polaris Academy for Boys; Leila Hunter – Black Middle School; Kenadii King – Black Middle School; Victoria Lopez – Clifton STEM Middle School; King Northington – KIPP Spirit Middle School; Medford Rankin – Forest Brook Middle School; Matthew Rankin – Forest Brook Middle School; Parker Reed – Hodges Bend Middle School; Andy Rodriguez – YES Prep Fifth Ward; Renard Simmons – Austin Middle School; Thomas Simpson – KIPP Polaris Academy for Boys; Carl Smith – Quail Valley Middle; Erin Spears – Manvel Junior High; Joseph Walker – Crosby Middle School; Angel Walker – Crosby Middle School; Joshua Walker – Drew Intermediate School; Serenity Wilkins – Cobb Sixth Grade Campus; Jaden Wilson – KIPP Spirit Middle School; Zion Wren – KIPP Liberation; Naya Wren – KIPP Liberation; Gabrielle York – Cobb Sixth Grade Campus.
The AANSBC is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2010 by Houston businessman Robert Garner. Jacqueline Terrell is Executive Director. The mission of the organization is to train students in grades 6-8 in decoding and spelling techniques to enable them to expand their literacy skills and knowledge, improve language development and increase reading and writing levels.
For more information, please visit the AANSBC website at www.bee-aboutit.org or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.