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Top Spellers Square Off at Unqua

The ultimate goal is to make it to the Scripps national spelling bee in Washington, D.C., but for 16 students at Unqua Elementary School, the journey started on a familiar stage.

The Unqua spelling bee was held on Jan. 6, featuring 16 participants who advanced from preliminary rounds in fourth and fifth grade classes. After nine rounds, fifth grader Sabrina Mannino remained as the only student who spelled every word correctly. She just needed to spell “bovines” right to be crowned as champion. She did, and the audience erupted in cheers.

Finishing in second place was fourth grader Adriana Mangiaracina, with third place going to fifth grader Matthew Franzese. The three top finishers received trophies and Barnes and Noble gift cards.

Sabrina and Adriana qualified for the regional spelling bee. The written portion will be in February, followed by the oral spelling bee on March 24 at Half Hollow Hills East High School.

Unqua’s spelling bee was held in partnership with the PTA, with Stacey Hock and Tracey Bisceglie serving as event co-chairs. Fifth grade teacher Mary Elizabeth Delaney was the pronouncer, as she said each word, used it in a sentence, and said it again. Sarah Lang and Deanna Musacchia were the judges and Megan Draghi was the timekeeper.