Spelling is part of their repertoire at Northfield Community School

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And then there were three: Calvin Duran, 13, spells his word while Tyler Festa, 13, and Pranshu Suri, 12, wait their turns. And then there were three: Calvin Duran, 13, spells his word while Tyler Festa, 13, and Pranshu Suri, 12, wait their turns.

NORTHFIELD—The hollers and cheers in the Northfield Community School gymnasium or generally reserved for the districts outstanding basketball teams but Tuesday, Feb. 26 it was brain power that drew the applause.
The event was the annual spelling bee and the students were vying to represent their school at the regional spelling bee March 23 at the Galloway Township Middle School.

Language arts teacher, Lynda Donovan puts the spelling bee together each year. It’s optional for the students to compete in the spelling bee.

They went round after round with all 20 students hanging tight and then the words started to get really tough and the field began to shrink. Words like indigenous, belligerent and prerogative knocked students out of the competition.  

Donovan said she normally prepares a list of 180 words for the spelling bee, assuming that they will never actually need that many.This year it took 154 words to complete the spelling bee. “I am honestly amazed with our competitors; these kids came here ready to spell,” said Donovan at the close of the spelling bee. “Last year it only took 57 words to complete our spelling bee last year.”

In the end it was seventh grade student, Pranshu Suri, 12, who bested the field and will represent her school in the tri-county spelling bee. The word that tripped up the NCS 2012 tri-county speller, Calvin Duran was lieutenant. The word that sealed the deal for 12-year-old Suri was repertoire. The third place speller is 13-year-old eighth grade student Tyler Festa and his tough word was precocious.

As far as preparing for the spelling bee Duran said he looked over the list of words, Festa said he did not want to cause a lot of stress so he went into the spelling bee just trusting his ability to spell words from the sound, use in a sentence and origin. Suri said she studied over the last few weekends and that her mom quizzed her.


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