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Scarsdale Middle School Sixth-Graders Vie for the Top Prize in Spelling Bee

spelling bee


Environmental. Abacus. Matriarch. Formidable. Claustrophobia. Perennial.

And then that word you think you know, until you’re asked to write it down in a spelling bee: Porpoise.

Those are just a handful of the challenging words recited out loud, and used in sentences, at Scarsdale Middle School’s sixth-grade spelling bee on April 19, where 30 semi-finalists vied for the title of the grade’s spelling bee winner in the Cooper Dining Room under fairly intense pressure.

The semi-finalists were those students left after 62 students competed in the preliminary rounds earlier. The semi-finalists, divided into five “swarms,” or teams, heard dozens of interesting words and spelled the words out on whiteboards. Each student, after receiving their word, had 15 seconds to write it on a whiteboard and then present it to judges – members of the student organization who held master lists of the challenging words in their hands.

One by one, students were eliminated until just three were still competing: Jayho So, Jeremy Lin, and Alex Horvath. Ultimately, after a number of rounds, Jayho emerged as the winner, with Jeremy in second place and Alex holding the third place trophy. All three of the winning students took home trophies, with Jayho also receiving the electronic game, Catchphrase. And all 30 semi-finalists earned Starburst candies as consolation prizes.

The spelling bee was organized by SMS seventh-grade technology education teacher Steve Rambone and Cooper math teacher Antoinette Nista.