District Scholars Prepares for Spelling Bee

DeSoto ISD Students Prepare to Compete for the Top Spelling Awards
Posted on 01/26/2024
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DeSoto ISD is buzzing with great news as it prepares to celebrate the achievements of its Spelling Bee participants who are advancing from the campus-level bees to compete for the top two spellers in the DeSoto ISD Spelling Bee on Thursday, Feb 1, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. in the DeSoto High School Auditorium located at 600 Eagle Drive.

The scholar in grades first through eighth have already outperformed their peers at all of the district’s elementary, middle, and specialty schools and are reviewing their word lists, participating in peer coaching sessions with older district students and community volunteers as they attempt to bring their best effort to the district competition stage.

Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet sixth grader Cassandra Piggatt is ecstatic to be participating in the district bee as her campus’s top speller.

“I wanted to participate in this year’s spelling bee because, in the inaugural year of the Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy, I won my 1st-grade classroom spelling bee. When I told my mom that my school was having a spelling bee in 2024, she encouraged me to try because she thought I would do well because of my prior success,” said Piggatt, who is now in the sixth grade at KJTMA. “Now, I will represent the entire Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy (KJTMA) at the 2023-2024 Scripps Spelling Bee District Competition.”

Aside from possessing the courage to try, Piggatt understands the magnitude of this academic competition and how it compliments her pastime activities and proposed career choice.

“Advancing to the District spelling bee is a great accomplishment and just like any other type of competition, a spelling bee champion spends long hours practicing and learning new words,” said Piggatt who also enjoys reading, crocheting, drawing, and painting. “When I graduate from high school begin studying at the university level to earn a degree in Bio-Chemistry or I may just become a Doctor.”

Piggatt is one of the approximately 15 first through eighth-grade students who will be competing in the DeSoto ISD Scripps Spelling Bee next Thursday, February 1. The event is free and the community is welcome to cheer on our young scholars and see who will emerge as the top spellers in the district.

Please see the list of district-level spelling bee participants below:

  • Mayte R, Woodridge Elementary, 1st grade
  • Michelle N., Cockrell Hill Elementary, 2nd grade
  • Gustavo R., Woodridge Elementary, 2nd grade
  •  Elijah W., Cockrell Hill Elementary, 2nd grade
  • Scarlett J., The Meadows Elementary, 4th grade
  • Erin H., Frank Moates Elementary, 5th grade
  • Benjamin P., Ruby Young Personalized STEAM Academy, 5th grade
  • Indyah P., The Meadows Elementary, 5th grade
  • Harlam S., Frank Moates Elementary, 5th grade
  • Maurice W., DeSoto West Middle School, 6th grade
  • Cassandra P., Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy, 6th grade
  • Jadon W., Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy, 7th grade
  • Kadence D., Ruby Young Personalized STEAM Academy, 8th grade
  • Kirstyn K., DeSoto West Middle School, 8th grade


The winners of the district-level spelling bee will advance further to the Scripps Regional Qualifier at which they will compete against several students across Dallas County in mid-February at Highland Park Middle School. The winners of the Regional Qualifier can participate in the national competition. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is an esteemed nationwide competition that celebrates academic excellence, and linguistic prowess and brings together top spellers from across the country to compete in this highly regarded event.
DeSoto ISD Executive Director of School Improvement Dr. Rashida Hobbs-Jones is gearing up for this competition and sees the intrinsic value this event brings. 

“Participation in these events not only furthers our district's literacy efforts but also nurtures a love for literacy in our students,” said Hobbs-Jones.

The district has enlisted the support and service of City of DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor and Glenn Heights Mayor Sonja A. Brown to serve along with DeSoto ISD Trustee Dr. Fleming, District Emergent Bilingual Director Dr. Helena Castanon-Vargas, and student judge Abiba Moncriffee. Additionally, the event will be headlined by noted education and community advocate and on-air personality, Lady Jade, formerly of K104 FM radio,  who will serve as the emcee of the evening.