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EP401 Newsreels: 2024 District Spelling Bee preview

A student and his teacher study for the Spelling Bee
Dave Porreca, Communications Specialist

This year's District 401 Spelling Bee will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at Elmwood Elementary School. The best spellers in grades 4-8 from Elmwood, John Mills Elementary and Elm Middle schools will participate. Check out our latest EP401 Newsreel for a preview!

The winner will represent the District in the West 40 ISC Scripps Spelling Bee on March 5 at E.F. Lindop School in Broadview. The top three finishers at West 40 will then compete in the Regional ISC Scripps Spelling Bee Championship on March 26, also at E.F. Lindop School. The regional winner will advance to the National Spelling Bee the week of Memorial Day 2024 at Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Md.

Last year, Elm 7th grader Kate Kondela won top honors in the District competition. It was her second time winning the title; the first came in 2020 when she won as an Elmwood 4th grader. She will be competing this year as an 8th grader. In all, five Elm students, eight Elmwood students and eight John Mills students will take the stage. Students were selected to participate based on their scores on a qualifying test given in December.

Besides studying on their own, students have been preparing for the event during weekly afterschool practices with their respective spelling team coaches: science teacher Lauren Mastrianni at Elm, enrichment teacher Annina Meacham at Elmwood and enrichment teacher Amy Fishman at John Mills. Elmwood Assistant Principal Stephanie Hagins has overseen the event as spelling bee director. Good luck to all!

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