Third-graders test their knowledge in NH School District's spelling bee
When Highcliff Elementary student Tommy Quinn misspelled “agitation” in the final round of the North Hills School District's first third-grade spelling bee, his last remaining competitor, Ross Elementary student Ella Tominac-Ural began to fidget with excitement.
But she hadn't won the spelling bee yet.
There still was one more word to spell — “sororal,” an adjective meaning sisterly.
Barely blinking an eye, Ella spelled out s-o-r-o-r-a-l before some adults in the room figured out what the word meant.
Tommy, 8, threw his hands up in the air in dramatic, but good-natured, defeat while Ella celebrated her victory as the district's third-grade spelling champion. The spelling bee took place Jan. 9 in the North Hills High School auditorium in Ross and was sponsored by the North Boroughs Rotary Club, which supplied the prizes for the top three spellers — $50, $35 and $25 Visa gift cards.
Ross Elementary student Jack Gibilisco placed third.
Eighteen students from gifted programs at North Hills' four elementary schools competed.
Ella, 9, of Ross, will advance to compete in a larger spelling bee hosted by the Rotary's district on June 28 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
“Probably the best part was when you see that you're getting the invitation (for the Rotary district bee),” Ella said. “I kind of forgot about it. I just wanted the prize.”
The North Boroughs Rotary Club provides dictionaries to third-graders in the school district most years, but members decided to sponsor a spelling bee this year instead, club President Ralph Flaugher said.
Its regional organization, Rotary International District 7300, which encompasses 47 Rotary clubs in Allegheny County and in parts of Beaver County, is sponsoring spelling bees for third-graders throughout their Rotary district this year. This is North Hills' first time participating in the program.
“This gets kids thinking, working and involved,” said Walt Sickles, district governor of Rotary International District 7300.
Sickles said that District 7300 will have a district-wide spelling bee for winners from locally sponsored bees in June. He hopes to have 24 to 36 students, including Ella, compete.
By the time the top three students were left in the North Hills spelling bee, moderator Thomas Kelly, a Rotary member and former school board member, said he was challenging the students with words from fifth- and sixth-grade spelling lists.
Ella said the toughest word she encountered in the spelling bee was “attitude.”
“I just don't like those double ‘T's,” she said.
Despite his defeat, Tommy, who lives in Ross Township, said he wasn't upset.
“I know I didn't get first place, but, hey, I had a lot of fun up there on stage,” Tommy said. “I hope I get to do it again next year.”
Kelsey Shea is a staff writer at Trib Total Media. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 724-772-6353.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.