Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2003
By Eileen Jevis/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
Eastern Region schools compete for spelling bee prizes
UTICA — Students in grades four, five and six from the Eastern Region Catholic elementary schools of the Syracuse Diocese took part in a spelling bee competition on Nov. 22 at St. Peter’s School. Ten students competed in each of the three grade levels. Two students from each grade level represented Our Lady of Lourdes School in Utica, St. Patrick’s School in Oneida, St. Mary’s School in Clinton, St. Peter’s School in Rome and St. Peter’s School in Utica. Each school also sent alternates.
Colleen Cavanagh, a fourth grade student from St. Patrick’s School in Oneida took first place after spelling “jealous” and “picture” correctly. Allison Jones of St. Peter’s School in Utica won second place. Colleen admitted she was nervous spelling in front of an audience. “I didn’t know how big the audience would be,” she said. Colleen was focused and determined as she listened carefully to each word being pronounced by Christine Kelly, head of the English Department at Notre Dame. Judges were Mary Perrone, a professor at SUNY Institute of Technology and Frank Handzel, president of the Greater Utica Area Catholic School Board. “I wasn’t sure I could win,” said Colleen. “I felt bad for the other kids who misspelled their word.” Colleen was chosen as a contestant after winning a spelling bee at St. Patrick’s School. Jessica Siuta, a fifth grader at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Utica won first place in her division by spelling “finality” and “woman” correctly. Nicole Nguyen came in second. “I’m happy that I won,” said Jessica. “I practiced at home with my mom and dad.” Jessica also said that her nervousness was due to spelling in front of an audience. Beth Warwick, principal of St. Peter’s School in Utica understood the students’ anxiety. “These children are all good spellers, but often can’t spell in front of a crowd,” said Warwick. The contestants had to contend with a distracting atmosphere due to little brothers and sisters who came to watch. Sixth grader, Amy Mlynarczyk from St. Peter’s School in Utica won first place in her division by spelling “launched” and “greenish” correctly. Frances Roldan of Our Lady of Lourdes School won second place. Amy said she was picked as a contestant after winning a spelling bee at her school. “No one helped me get ready,” said Amy. “I’ve always been a good speller.”
Each contestant was awarded a certificate of participation. In addition to the certificate, first place winners received a medal and a $50 savings bond.