DuPont Middle School 8th grader is best speller in Duval County

Julius Graham is winner of Duval County Spelling Bee in 2020

From a field of 26 students, Duval County Schools has crowned a winner: 13-year-old Julius Graham is this year's spelling bee champ.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Of the 26 contestants who competed in the Duval County Spelling Bee on Wednesday night, the spotlight shined brightest on Julius Graham, an eighth grader from DuPont Middle School, who spelled the winning word.

You might ask, what exactly was the winning word? Dubiously.

“I feel great!” Julius told Joy Purdy after winning.

Also taking home a trophy was Leah Files from James Weldon Johnson Middle School, who was the first runner-up. Christopher Barrett from Kirby Smith Middle School was the second runner-up.

The studying continues for Julius. In February, he’ll represent Duval County in the regional spelling bee, and his parents will be right there by his side.

“He can handle the pressure,” said Julius’ mother.

“He lost last year and he said, ‘Dad, I’m going to win this year,'" said Julius’ father. “And he did!”

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.