Upon correctly spelling the word “carnivore,” Pottstown Middle School eighth grader Angel Onate was crowned the school’s spelling bee champion. Shane Langevin was runner-up in the event which was witnessed by a full school assembly along with a large contingent of supportive parents.
Mrs. Dee Pettine served as the master of ceremonies with word announcer and coordinator Ms. Kim Petro. Judges for the event included teachers Mary Ann Hill, Lois Sanders, and Desiree Schwoyer.
In order to make it to the final cut of on-stage competitors, all middle school students were initially given a test using 20 words from the Scripps Spelling Bee list. Students who spelled the most words correctly were then invited to participate in the on-stage event. In addition to correctly spelling words, all students had to meet addition eligibility requirements.
Participants met weekly to practice the hundreds of words supplied. The practices leading up to the competition provided opportunity for students to develop friendships while at the same time learning.
Twenty-two (22) students in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th, accepted the challenge. These students included: London Aquino, Zachary Bright, Robbie Fleming, Skylar Long, Milani Roberson, Jordan White, Camren Williams, Harrison Wolf, Carlos Fuentes Brown, Shane Langevin, Abigail Richter, Giovanni Rivera, Xavier Campbell, Sooad Elbahwati, Khalif Jeter, Evan Keefer, Kyli McKee, Angel Onate, Kenil Patel, Marvin Pearson, Ma Sofia Sosa, and Gage Taylor.
Spelling Bee Coordinator Kim Petro provided much needed support and encouragement during the practice sessions. It was exciting to watch students spend their own personal, after school time to prepare for the competition. “I enjoyed seeing them develop new friendships and academic skills.”
Angel went on to represent Pottstown Middle School at the Times Herald Spelling Bee competition held in Norristown. He successfully placed 12th out of 26 competitors from throughout Montgomery County.