Jacqui Nickell
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Lakehill Preparatory School fifth grade student Cece Degeyter claimed the top spot in the school's Spelling Bee on January 9, correctly spelling lobelia. She edged out fourth grader Rygel Farr, who claimed second, going out on proboscis

Forty-five students in grades four through eight competed in the event. Henry Bennion was the last sixth grader in, while last year's runner-up, Landry Poore, was the final seventh grader. Katie Rich was the last eighth grader to remain in the competition.

Cece says she has always enjoyed spelling, and studied hard over the break to be ready for the Bee. Despite her diligent preparation, she was surprised to be named champion. "It was a complete mix of shock, happiness, and relief," she said.

Each year, students from across the country compete for the chance to represent their schools and communities in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Degeyter will compete in the next round in February against winners from other private schools. As runner-up, Farr will also be recognized at the event.

Julie Murugen, the sponsor of the event, commented, "I was impressed that Cece and Rygel hardly asked for a definition. They were studied up!"


About Lakehill Preparatory School

At Lakehill Preparatory School, we know that bigger is not always better. Lakehill is -- and always has been -- small by design.

Our school combines a strong, engaging academic program with a kind and inclusive community. A small student body offers a greater opportunity for each student to experience academic and leadership growth. Students develop a strong sense of belonging, and pride in their community, their school, and themselves. 

Community spirit is encouraged in our small school environment. Strong relationships develop between home and school, and school leaders are far more involved with individual students than in a larger school setting. Lakehill staff pride themselves on knowing every child by name.

Lakehill builds an atmosphere of respect, accountability, collaboration, and mentoring between students and teachers, and provides the resources and learning opportunities that empower students to be architects of their own education.

Visit our website at for more information.

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