Students of Richmond Hill Middle School battled it out last week during the school’s annual spelling bee. The prize: Being top speller, of course, and a chance to compete in the district spelling bee.
Fifty-two students anticipated each word caller Matt Amason presented. But after a total of 212 words had been spelled, seventh-grader Sophie Giorgianni was the last student standing. She, with seventh-grader Nicole Melnyk as an alternate, will go on to the district bee in February.
“Our students take pride in participating in the classroom spelling bees, in the school level bee, and even having the chance to move up to system, district or state level,” said RHMS media specialist Martha Coffield, who has been organizing the spelling bees since 1994. “Over the years Richmond Hill Middle School has been well represented at all level of competition.”
Coffield and the other judges, Gail Bond, Brittney Jackson and Keita Harris, made sure that everyone played by the rules.
“(The bee) is a great way to showcase their skills” she said.
Skills indeed — the students had to spell words that could give any adult trouble, like flirtatious, undertow, purification, pompadour, amigo, exceptional and disingenuous.
Toward the end of the competition, the number of contestants began to dwindle. By the seventh round, only Melnyk and Giorgianni remained. After Melnyk misspelled “galley,” Giorgianni was able to spell the word correctly and moved in to the final round. “Simulate” was her winning word and secured her the title of top speller at RHMS.
Both girls agreed that reading and practice were the keys to their spelling success.