LAS CRUCES —Seventh-grader Emily Cai may have never been on a unicycle, but she knew how to spell “unicycle” in order to win the Las Cruces Public Schools’ annual spelling bee. Cai, 13, from Lynn Middle School, is now eligible to compete in the regional spelling bee in El Paso on March 4, 2016.


2016 LCPS District Spelling Bee winners are shown left to right: Emily Cai, first-place winner from Lynn Middle School; Adam Homsi, second-place winner from Sierra Middle School; and Mia Garcia, third-place winner from Loma Heights Elementary.

Second-place winner was Adam Homsi, 10, a sixth-grade student Sierra Middle School; the third-place winner was Mia Garcia, 9, a third-grader from Loma Heights Elementary. The final three students competed in a total of 17 rounds, said Josie Miller, LCPS staff development specialist.

The district’s spelling bee was held on January 15, when first-place winners from each school could compete and practice for the regional competition. All first-place winners are eligible to participate in the regional spelling bee, Miller said. There were a total of 26 spellers competing from grades three to eight.

“It was great to see parents and sponsors advocate for their participant and it was clear the students were well prepared,” Miller said. “Kudos to all who participated.”

Darci Deschamps, Mesilla Park Elementary instructional specialist, served as the competition pronouncer. Judges were Jane Gurnea, LCPS staff development specialist; Kelly Mahres, principal at University Hills; James Dickerson, assistant principal at César Chávez Elementary; and Jennifer Haan, coordinator of elementary instruction.

— For more information, contact Jennifer Haan, LCPS Instruction Department, 527.5859,