Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State holds annual city-wide spelling bee ‘Words with Friends’

The sixth annual city-wide spelling bee “Words with Friends” will be held Thursday, February 2 at 6 p.m. in Dever Stage at Westfield State University. The event is for fifth grade students from the city of Westfield and is organized by The Circle K (Kiwanis) Club of Westfield State with assistance from the Westfield State Department of Academic Affairs and the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS). “Words with Friends” was organized by WSU Circle K executive board member Brianna Beninati ’19 and Westfield Schools VIPS director Tina Macy. This year’s sponsor is MedExpress Urgent Care Center of Westfield.

More than 500 students took part in preliminary local school spelling bees at the following elementary schools:  Abner Gibbs, Franklin Avenue, Highland Avenue, Munger Hill, Paper Mill, Southampton Road, and Russell.

This year’s finalists are: Serena Nicolle and Erin Popp (Abner Gibbs); Noah Gilbert and Wunnyuriti Ziblim (Franklin Avenue); Madison Koziol and Reeha Rizaan (Highland); Christina Marini and Jimmy Salzer (Munger Hill); Ashish Sharma and Aria Sotolongo (Paper Mill); Caroline Arbuzov and Grace Duffy (Russell); and Andre Arkoette and Jaden Dekastrozza (Southampton Road).

Each school sends their top two fifth grade students to finals at Westfield State where the fourteen students face off in this annual event.  Each student receives an award medal and prizes are awarded to the top three spellers.  A permanent plaque with names of the winners and their school is awarded to the top student’s school each year.

Last year’s finalists were Garrette Ondrick (Southampton Road, 1st place), Sara Whitelock (Southampton Road, 2nd place), and Samantha Adamtsev (Abner Gibbs, 3rd place).

Members of the Kiwanis Club assist with the actual spelling bee with past Kiwanis President Adam Wright serving as the moderator.  The judges are George Delisle, Fr. Joseph Soltysiak, Leslie Stauffer, and Bob Plasse.

 The event is free and open to the public. Dever Stage is located in Parenzo Hall. For more information, contact Ken Magarian kmagarian@westfield.ma.edu

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