HUBER HEIGHTS — Shane Storaci of Rushmore Elementary is the 2018 Huber Heights City Schools (HHCS) District Spelling Bee champion. The sixth grader won by correctly spelling the word avocations. Amarie Gregg of Valley Forge Elementary is the runner up.
School spelling bees were held at all five HHCS elementary schools and Weisenborn Junior High in November and December as qualifying rounds for the district spelling bee. “These were the first place and runner up,” says Lesha Wallace, the pronouncer and HHCS Supervisor of Secondary Curriculum.
The other judges included Gina Helmick, HHCS Treasurer; Beth Morrisey, HHCS Director of Special Services; and Derrick Williams, HHCS Director of Human Resources. Curt Hefner, School Psychologist, kept track of each round. Maddy Fernandez, an 8th grade student at Weisenborn Junior High, served as host for the District Bee.
The spelling bee followed the same rules as the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Competition words started out easy, but became increasingly harder as the contest progressed. After a while, SAT level words were used as students had difficulty spelling words such as brigands, monomania, and generalissimo.
The judges thought the advanced words improved the overall quality of the spelling bee. Williams thought highly of the student’s effort. “I thought the competition was fierce. The kids represented themselves well. They handled themselves awesomely under pressure.”
“You could see familiar faces, they were well prepared and they represented their school district,” says Morrissey who was also impressed with the student’s knowledge.
Ultimately for the champion and runner up, the spelling bee was about having fun and seeing all their hard work studying finally pay off. “It was fun. I was really nervous,” added Gregg. Storaci feels vindicated by the win. “I’ve done this for three years. It’s been hard, but I finally won and it feels great.”
HHCS Spelling Bee contestants holding their participation certificates
HHCS Superintendent Susan Gunnell awarded participation certificates and plaques after the competition
Up next, Storaci and the other building winners will take the Dayton-Area Spelling Bee Collaborative online test administered by Scripps. The top finishers will advance to the Dayton-Area Spelling Bee Collaborative regional contest, with the winner of that competition receiving an expenses-paid trip to the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The HHCS building winners are as follows:
Sabrina Roddy and Maya Zinkiewicz – Charles Huber Elementary
Scarlet Manley and Elijah Schroeder – Monticello Elementary
Shane Storaci* and Kai Pacheco – Rushmore Elementary
Amarie Gregg** and Ziya Patel – Valley Forge Elementary
Jaxson Eddings and Braylon Thompson – Wright Brothers
Madison Murray and Ese Ituma – Weisenborn Junior High
Keaton DePierre and Maureen Kadel – Saint Peter School
* – Denotes HHCS District Spelling Bee Champion
** – Denotes HHCS District Spelling Bee Runner-Up