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C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N | Newburgh Student Wins Regional Spelling Bee; Headed to National Competition in Washington, DC


Eli McNair, a middle school scholar at South Middle School, won the Regional Spelling Bee on March 21st and is headed to the Washington, DC area to compete against 200 spellers from across the country and around the world in the. Bee Week will take place from Sunday, May 26th to Friday, May 31st. The National Competition will begin with the Preliminaries on Tuesday, May 28th, and conclude with the Finals on Ƶ, May 30th.

On March 21st, Eli competed against 25 peers from surrounding districts (Chester, Cornwall, Goshen, Minisink Valley, Monroe-Woodbury, Port Jervis, Valley Central, Warwick Valley, and Washingtonville) at Orange Ulster BOCES.  The prestigious event brought together talented spellers from various schools, providing a platform for friendly competition and academic excellence.

Eight students from Ƶ District were invited to compete with 7th and 8th graders from our region. Eligible students who competed from Newburgh Schools included: Hillary Armand and Eli McNair (South Middle School), Sophia Bartley and Quinn Tracey (Heritage Middle School), Sebastian Guzman and Chase Burrell (Temple Hill Academy), and Ava Prokosch and Jada Hackett (Meadow Hill School). Ashleyn Leclair, Williams Gallagher, Damien Forty were alternates. These students also won and tied on the classroom bees, but not the tiebreaker, which ultimately determined who attended the regional competition. Students were selected to compete regionally after earning the top scores in their classroom Bee, via a blind spelling test.

Words included in the middle school Regional Spelling Bee included: propitious, perpendicularity, incandescent, grotesqueness, and the winning word - acuity.

About Eli: Eli studied keywords before the Regional Bee but finds himself to be a naturally good speller. Adding to his talent is a keen interest in words, always striving for the ability to articulate his thoughts well. “I think it’s important to know what you’re thinking of and what you’re speaking about. When you write about things, you have more confidence in your thoughts and how you’re expressing yourself when you aren’t second-guessing your spelling. I think this competition will help me in the future because I know I can achieve something like this and it may help my future career and acceptance to college,” shared Eli. 

Eli credits Ms. Kaiser-Shaffer, his teacher in Gardnertown, and Ms. Cacciatore, his teacher at South Middle School for influencing and inspiring his curiosity to improve his linguistic skills. “They have always thought I had courage and bravery, which has helped my confidence to compete in something like this,” he reflected. 

Outside of the classroom, Eli enjoys listening to music, dancing, and gymnastics. He volunteers as a designer for his middle school yearbook. When he grows up, he wants to be an anesthesiologist, real estate agent, or principal cyber security professional. Before attending South Middle School, Eli attended Gardnertown Leadership Academy.

More about the SCRIPPS National Spelling Bee:

SCRIPPS provides a 6-night stay at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland for students competing in the National Bee.

Bee Week will include much more than three days of nationally televised competition. The National Competition will be aired on.







Date: 2024-04-04 13:48:21





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