Twenty-four sixth- through eighth-grade students representing 13 area junior high and middle schools competed in the 30th annual Knights of Columbus Spelling Bee Feb. 11 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Arlington Heights.
The first-place finisher was Charles Saineghi of St. Paul School in Mount Prospect. The second-place finisher was Jeanette O'Brien, also of St. Paul School in Mount Prospect, and third place went to Prithvi Velpuri, of Thomas Middle School, Arlington Heights.
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The Bee used 168 words and lasted for 15 rounds, followed by a three round "spell-off" for third place. The final battle for first was a 21-word battle between the final two spellers, including words such as detritus, euphoria, babblative, and prevaricate. The Bee concluded when Charles Saineghi spelled both galvanize and verbatim correctly to claim first place.
All three finalists qualified to compete in the Regional Spelling Bee in March, where the top three finishers of the Regional Bee qualify for the state tournament in April.
Schools and students participating in the Spelling Bee were:
From Arlington Heights: Christian Liberty Academy, Jaime Alexander Lugo and Sheryl Sabu; Our Lady of the Wayside, Natalie Brady and Grace Nessen-Gilligan; St. James Junior High School, Danny Ferris and Kelly McCarthy; St. Peter School, Matthew Jo and Jake Ringstrand; South Middle School, Lillian Hermes and Max Schraeder; and Thomas Middle School, Prithvi Velpuri and Andrew Song.
Buffalo Grove: St. Mary School, Edyta Czaplinski.
Mount Prospect: Holmes Junior High School, Luz Flores and Pooja Patil; St. Paul School, Michael Freeman and Jeanette O'Brien; St. Emily School, Olivia Dominiguez and Meredith Nowotarski; St. Raymond School, Patrick Doyle and Alex Recht.
From Prospect Heights: St. Alphonsus School, Scott St. Onge
Rolling Meadows: St. Colette School, Jessica Davis and Luke Koehler.
The Bee was hosted by Holy Rosary Council No. 4483 of Arlington Heights and co-sponsored with Mount Prospect Council No. 6481 and Our Lady of the Grove Council No. 13448.
All public and private junior high schools and middle schools serving Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove, Long Grove, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, and Wheeling were invited to send two representatives to participate.
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