MS Spelling Bee Winners

MS Spelling Bee Winners

After 17 grueling rounds, middle school seventh-grader Robert Hilbert proved the most adept at the school’s annual spelling bee on Jan. 12, taking first place out of 39 participants from sixth, seventh and eighth grades by spelling the word “hydrant.” Finishing second and third, respectively, were eighth-graders Toniann Santamaria and Steven Squillante. East Islip’s bee was coordinated by teachers Brian Deedy and Ann Mingione; Barbara Huether served as the official word announcer.

“This year's spelling bee was a tremendous success,” said Mingione. “We had many talented spellers representing our entire school body. Congratulations to all of this year's participants for an action-packed spelling bee."

After winning the middle school bee, Hilbert moved on to the first round of the Long Island regional spelling bee, held on Feb. 4 at Hofstra University, where he and 134 other competitors took a written test. Hilbert and 40 other students were then invited back to Hofstra on Feb. 11 for the final round, called the traditional spell down, where he made it through the first three rounds before finally misspelling “pizzicato.”