The top 20 spellers who competed in last week's Junior Woman's Club Fourth and Fifth Grade Spelling Bees met Monday evening at Westfield High School to find out who would take home top prize and to determine which three students will represent Westfield at the regional spelling bee to be held next month.
Students spelled for close to an hour before Wilson Elementary School fourth-grader Mira Mehta was crowned the bee's winner. She was awarded a certificate, a $25 gift card from Panera, a $10 gift card from The Town Book Store, and a $20 iTunes gift card.
Jefferson School fifth-grader Abbey Zidel took second place and received a $25 gift card to Bovella's and a $10 iTunes gift card. Jake White, a fifth grader at Washington School came in third and received a $20 iTunes gift card. Maxwell Switlyk, a Franklin School fifth grader, the runner up, received a $10 iTunes gift card.
If for any reason one of the top three spellers cannot compete at the Central Regional Bee, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Franklin School auditorium in Kearny, Switlyk will fill the spot. Westfield's spelling champs will compete against students from Summit, Verona, Arlington, Cranford, Cedar Grove, Milltown, and Hightstown.
*Editor's Notebook: I would like to thank the Junior Woman's Club for asking me to serve as a judge for this event. In addition to their spelling acumen and grace under pressure, the students demonstrated impeccable manners as well as great support for their fellow spellers, often clapping for each other's successes. I commend all who participated, and to the student who went out on the word "superintendent," that one gets me every time!