Alma Roach Mercer

Ninety years ago, the small town of Twinsburg, Ohio, was filled with excitement and pride as one of their own, a 10th grader named Alma Roach, became the 1933 National Spelling Bee Champion. This remarkable achievement was celebrated by the town’s 1,241 residents, marking a significant moment in Twinsburg’s history. Alma Roach, sponsored by the Akron Beacon Journal, won the competition in by correctly spelling the word “torsion,” showcasing not only her spelling prowess but also the educational strengths of her community. Her victory was a testament to the dedication and hard work of the students and teachers in Twinsburg, and it remains a proud part of the town’s heritage to this day. The story of Alma Roach earned her a memorable journey to Washington D.C., where she had the honor of meeting newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt. Her victory was celebrated by her hometown of Twinsburg, Ohio, with the local school principal and pastor preparing a warm welcome upon her return. Alma’s legacy continued to be recognized years later, as she received commendations from the Ohio Senate and Governor George White. Her journey through the spelling bee circuit, her subsequent life in California, and her return to Twinsburg after the Korean War, reflect the rich tapestry of experiences that followed her early success. Alma’s story, punctuated by her humble reaction to her victory, remains an inspiring example of how academic achievements can lead to extraordinary opportunities and recognition. Her dedication and hard work continue to resonate, illustrating the impact that such accomplishments can have on an individual’s life and community.