Knox County Spelling Bee returns, features students from elementary and middle schools


While the winning word was “taboo”, the return of the Knox County Spelling Bee was not. The long-awaited Knox County Spelling Bee took place on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, marking the first in-person competition since the COVID-19 pandemic. The event brought together young spellers from elementary and middle schools across the Knox County Public Schools.

Following two practice rounds and five competitive rounds, winner Jayden Couch from Jesse D. Lay Elementary won first place in round six with the word “taboo.”

Taboo, a noun of Polynesian origin, refers to a social or religious custom prohibiting or forbidding a particular practice or behavior. As the winning word, it exemplified the diverse and challenging vocabulary that these young spellers faced.

Harrison Trosper, a student at Knox County Middle School, placed runner-up in the second spot followed by Cayden Tate, a student at Dewitt Elementary.

“We are thrilled to bring back the Knox County Spelling Bee and congratulate Jayden and all of the participants on their success at school and district levels,” said Frank Shelton, coordinator of the event.

School Winner Runner-Up
Central Elementary Reagan Coffie Brenden Valentine
Dewitt Elementary Cayden Tate Blake Gambrel
Flat Lick Elementary Ariana Fletcher Ian Partin
G.R. Hampton Elementary Kolton King Sabastion Sisoumankhara
Girdler Elementary Emalyn Liford Cayden Centers
Jesse D. Lay Elementary Jayden Couch Ben Hembree
Knox County Middle Harrison Trosper Tristan Jones
Lynn Camp Elementary Tyson Stanton Gracie Lawson
Lynn Camp Middle Ava Crawford Blake Partin