OSWEGO – Leighton Elementary students were abuzz with excitement during the annual school spelling bee.
After eight rounds of spelling words, such as balsam and chivalrous, competitors: fourth grader Dania Algebory, fifth grader Joseph Wall and fourth grader Logan McRae placed first, second and third, respectively.
Open to Leighton students in grades three to six, 22 finalists made it to the school-wide competition where literacy specialist Amy Armet emceed the event.
Armet said the words were difficult on the qualifying test and she couldn’t be prouder of all participants.
Throughout the competition, Armet read each word to the contestants, who were then required to repeat the word before they spelled it.
Participants also were able to request the definition and for it to be used in a sentence, if needed.
Sixth grade teacher Kate Bowman assisted on stage, while the following Leighton staff members served as judges: literacy specialist Jennifer Symborski, special education teacher Kathleen Zerrahn and special education teacher Elizabeth Photos.
Classmates of each contestant cheered with each word spelled correctly and they offered words of encouragement when their peers misspelled a word and were disqualified.
Algebory said the key to her success was several study sessions, while Wall said the most challenging word for him was chivalrous.
Meanwhile, McRae said he was proud of himself for spelling the word Fiji correctly because he hadn’t heard of that place before the spelling bee.
Leighton’s top three spellers were awarded a gift card to the River’s End Bookstore and a subscription to an online encyclopedia.
They also will move on to the Oswego City School District-wide spelling bee in March.