Return to Headlines

UCPS Spelling Bee champion Alexia Vega-Franceschi wins title for third year in a row

Alexia Vega-Franceschi, a fifth grader at Sandy Ridge Elementary is the Union County Public Schools Spelling Bee champion for the third time in a row. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, this year’s competitionAlexia and Dr. Houlihan was held virtually on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.

“We’re very proud of her,” said Tracey Kerstetter, Principal at Sandy Ridge Elementary. “I can’t wait to see her move forward, she’s got the talent.”

Participating in the annual Spelling Bee competition runs in the Vega family, Alexia’s older sister Eva was a previous spelling bee champion for the district.

“Not many people can say that they are a three-time champion. She’s an amazing student. We’re all very proud of her and her efforts and we want her to go all the way to D.C., to the national bee,” said UCPS Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan.

As for preparation for the spelling bee Alexia, says that she studies the list of words provided by the school and writes out the words that give her trouble. She also studies throughout the year in preparation for the competition. 

Alexia made it through 10 competitive rounds with “Asyndeton” as her winning word. The definition of Asyndeton is: omission of the conjunctions that ordinarily join coordinate words or clauses, ex.: (as in "I came, I saw, I conquered").

When asked what her favorite word is she quickly responded “probably potato,” Alexia is a fan of the vegetable and enjoys French fries and tater tots.

Alexia is showing no signs of slowing down, as she plans to compete again next year. She will represent UCPS at the Regional Spelling Bee at the end of March.

Click here to listen to Alexia in her own words on what it feels like to be a three-time champion and why she loves to spell.

Antioch Elementary student, Pranav Premkumar won first-runner up and Marvin Ridge Middle student, Sreethan Gajula won second-runner up in the competition. Great job to and all the UCPS Spelling Bee participants.

Please see the chart below for a list of students who participated in the UCPS Spelling Bee:                        

2020-2021 School Spelling Bee Winners



Pranav Premkumar

Antioch Elementary

Jahaira Sandoval-Zepeda

Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts

Janvi Patel

Cutherbertson Middle

Leyma Saquich -Hernandez

East Elementary

Destini Howell

East Union Middle

Scott McCullough

Fairview Elementary

Diego De-Jesus

Health Sciences Academy at Monroe Middle

Effie Ghansah

Hemby Bridge Elementary

Anu Sibu

Indian Trail Elementary

Stephanie Jarical

Kensington Elementary

Alijah Allen

Marshville Elementary

Savir Savant

Marvin Elementary

Sreethan Gajula

Marvin Ridge Middle

Nayla Hill

New Salem Elementary

Karleigh Arnold

New Town Elementary

Slade Crowder

Parkwood Middle

Carsten Cooper

Piedmont Middle

Harper Caskey

Poplin Elementary

Brihanna Ashcraft

Porter Ridge Elementary

Aden Eugenio

Porter Ridge Middle

Lyla Sheppard

Prospect Elementary

Hampton Tolbert

Rea View Elementary

Jacob Castillo

Rock Rest Elementary

Jacob Moore

Rocky River Elementary

Alexia Vega-Franceschi

Sandy Ridge Elementary

Cristopher Macedo

Sardis Elementary

Brady DeBrand

Shiloh Valley Elementary

Vasili Poulos

Stallings Elementary

Brianne Newman

Sun Valley Middle

Noah Knight

Union Elementary

Maggie Furr

Unionville Elementary

Desmond Robertson

Walter Bickett Elementary

Graham Baltmiskis

Waxhaw Elementary

Riyansh Akepati

Weddington Elementary

Abhijay Amujuri

Weddington Middle

Addison Webb

Wesley Chapel Elementary

Maelle Toomey

Western Union Elementary

Brianna Strunk

Wingate Elementary



Published February 22, 2021