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Students participate in annual spelling bee

By Carley Dangona
WEST SPRINGFIELD – The West Springfield Public Library team managed to out-spell its competitors to win the 19th Annual Spelling Bee.

Nine trios took part in the event that took place at the Majestic Theater on March 10, sponsored by the West Springfield Partnership for Education.

The 27 contestants competed in groups consisting of one adult representative from the school district and two students. The student winners took home gift cards to Barnes & Noble Inc., while the adult won a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

Teams from the Philip G. Coburn, John R. Fausey, Mittineague, Tatham and Memorial elementary schools, West Springfield Middle School, St. Thomas the Apostle School, the West Springfield School Committee and the West Springfield Public Library took part. Students in grades five to eight participated.

State Sen. James Welch, state Rep. Michael Finn and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Russell Johnston served as judges. Assistant Superintendent Kevin McQuillan moderated the event.

Three preliminary rounds took place, with three teams competing at once. The winners of each round competed in a final challenge round to determine the winner. Students spelled words from Latin, Arabic, Asian, French and German origins.

The library, School Committee and Coburn faced off in the final round. The School Committee was eliminated first, and Coburn second, leaving the library team to win.

To learn more about the partnership, visit