A fifth grader from Pleasant Valley School won the Garden District Spelling Bee in Haddonfield this past Sunday. New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs is proud to announce the Top Three Finalists in this past Sunday’s Spelling Bee. The winners, all in fifth grade, are Eleanor Race, Gloucester County Women’s Club; Elizabeth Adler, Women’s Club of Medford; and Eric Pagan, Women’s Club of Runnemede.
Eleanor Race used the tried-and-true palm writing method to double-check each letter as she raced to first place. Pronouncer John Giannotti praised her technique after the Bee, saying he has seen many winners use that strategy. Eleanor enjoys competitive swimming and basketball, which she plays on the Harrison team. The fifth grade student drums in the school band, and she also likes to play rock like Led Zeppelin and The Police. The Pleasant Valley School student also loves animals – especially cats – and hopes one day to run an animal rescue shelter.
Milton H. Allen School student Elizabeth Adler was an alternate, and just received notice that she could compete the night before the Bee. Adler came in second place, spelling tricky words such as “emblem” and “dither.”
Eric Pagan of Mary. E. Volz School in Runnemede captured third place when he misspelled “crimson” by one letter. Just one word before that, Laila Worley went out on “jabber.”
All contestants received certificates, and the top three winners earned Visa gift cards thanks to the generosity of Connor, Strong & Buckelew, Marlton,NJ.
Contestants included; Elizabeth Adler, Brian Bowman, Lillian Braciszewski, Jaylen Delgado, Amina Dyer, John Geraci, Kevin Hoff, Austin Hui Kayla Kalinawski, Haylee Knott, James Kostick, Faith Lisinski, Emma Lynch, Sai Nikhil-Kaveti, Alex Nuckols, Manuel Ortega, Eric Pagan, Aiden Page, Jacob Poinsett, Eleanor Race,Mia Soper, Akshath Thavanai, Cole Tice, Brayden Torchia, Amber Weber, and Laila Worley.
The Spelling Bee was hosted by The Haddon Fortnightly Woman’s Club at The Haddon Fortnightly. Volunteers from the entire Garden District assisted at the Bee. The event was run and moderated by Marie DiMatties, NJSFWC Education Community Service Program Chairman, NJSFWC Spelling Bee Chairman Lisa Levin, and Garden District Spelling Chairman Suzie Wagner. John Giannotti, a longtime Rutgers-Camden professor and former Chair of the Fine Arts Department, served as pronouncer. Our three esteemed judges were retired English and Latin teacher Patricia Underwood, and Special Education Teachers Amy Brancato and Maureen Wagner.
In order to compete at the Garden District Spelling Bee, each of the 27 fourth and fifth grade contestants first had to be among the top three winners of the Woman’s Club Spelling Bee in their local area. The top three winners, Eleanor, Elizabeth and Eric, will go on to compete at the NJSFWC State Spelling Bee in New Brunswick on March 4, 2017.