Newark students competing in Regional Spelling Bee

Two seventh graders from Newark Middle School will compete in the regional leg of the annual Scripps Spelling Bee on March 20 at the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES Conference Center in Newark.

Braydan Sherman won first place in the local Bee, followed by Olivia Demer in second. The school’s alternate representative, seventh grader Caleb Coleman, finished in third place. Also competing in the NMS Spelling Bee were sixth graders Ridley Chandler, Alexis Huntington and Jonathan Mayzak. 

English language arts teacher Mel Hager, who coordinates the local Bee, said this year’s process involved attending national webinars through Scripps, regional meetings and frequent communication with Scripps and the regional director.

NMS ran each stage of its Spelling Bee virtually through the official Scripps program. Students in grades 6-8 who qualified after the first spelling test went on to compete in the District Spelling Bee.

“While the challenges to host a bee were many this year, I am happy our district managed to provide the opportunity for the six students who chose to compete in the district level this year,” Hager said. “I’d also like to thank the Scripps National Spelling Bee and our Regional Spelling Bee director for their continued communication and efforts to help make this opportunity possible for our youth.”

She also congratulated every student who chose to compete.

“Qualifying for the Spelling Bee takes considerable skill, while participation requires the addition of courage and confidence from our spellers,” she said. “Thanks not only goes to our contestants, but their families for their participation and flexibility. I will be working to provide time leading up to the Regional Bee for our representatives to study and practice word etymology, spelling and best practices in preparation.

“Our Regional Bee will have one winner that will move on to represent our region in the National Spelling Bee. The National Spelling Bee will be quite different this year, as well. The first three rounds will be held virtually and then they will host the final round of 10-12 spellers in Orlando, Florida, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.”

Stock photo.