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DCSD crowns spelling bee champion, sends 25 students to State Spelling Bee

CASTLE ROCK – There is no doubt that the finalists in Douglas County School District’s 2015 Spelling Bee are artisanal (or craftsman-like) in their use of word—but this year they actually needed to know how to spell the word artisanal, to become the champion.

Meghna Bagchi, an eighth grader from American Academy was able to nail the adjective version of artisan during District bee, which was held on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Castle Rock Middle School.

A total of 83 students ranging from fourth to eighth grade and representing 60 schools took part in the District Spelling Bee. Bagchi earned first place, Joseph Parsons, a sixth-grader from STEM School and Academy was the runner-up and third-place went to Michael Looper, an eighth-grader from Sierra Middle School.

Twenty-five DCSD students are being sent to the State Spelling Bee, which will be at Sturm Hall at the University of Denver on March 14.

The 25 students that are moving on to the State Spelling Bee are:

  1. Meghna Bagchi (American Academy)
  2. Grayson Cassel (Mammoth Heights Elementary)
  3. Maddie Cassic (Ranch View Middle School)
  4. Dallas Cohrs (Cimarron Middle School)
  5. Tanner Cohrs (Gold Rush Elementary)
  6. Erik Dahlberg (Cimarron Middle School)
  7. Ryan Fincher (Cimarron Middle School)
  8. Mandy Fleetwood (Iron Horse Elementary)
  9. Hailey Johnson (Ranch View Middle School)
  10. Tess Johnson (Sage Canyon Elementary)
  11. Etash Kalra (Challenge to Excellence Charter School)
  12. Maxwell Ketter (STEM School and Academy)
  13. Tara Kuyilath (Mountain Ridge Middle School)
  14. Rebecca Layman (Academy Charter)
  15. Michael Loomer (Sierra Middle School)
  16. Collin McKenna (Castle Rock Middle School)
  17. Ankit Mukkamala (Eldorado Elementary)
  18. Joseph Parsons (STEM School and Academy)
  19. Madeline Proctor (American Academy)
  20. Shruthi Rajesh (Skyview Academy)
  21. Ariana Teng (Cresthill Middle School)
  22. Maya Vendhan (Skyview Academy)
  23. Coco Wang (Rocky Heights Middle School)
  24. Sophie Whitehead (Pine Lane Elementary)
  25. Vivian Zheng (Rocky Heights Middle School)

The champion speller at the State Spelling Bee will win an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. More information is available at

February 10, 2015 | By rmbarber | Category:

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.