Spelling bee winner Anthony Minadeo and runner up Katie Szuszkowski with Principal Jennifer Miller.
WEST MILFORD — Anthony Minadeo was the top speller at Paradise Knoll Elementary School's annual spelling bee. Coming in second was Katie Szuszkowski, with Ciarra Cedeno finishing third. All are sixth graders.
Fifth and sixth grade students in all classes first competed in individual classroom competitions the week before the final. The top five spellers from each class then competed in the spelling bee for the school championship. Reading Specialist Susan Bickford said this was the largest group of competitors the school has ever had, 25 in all, since the 5th grade currently has three classes.
The competition went on for more than 20 rounds, with more than 110 words spelled by the students. Students were eliminated with one misspelled word until only two students remained, starting the elimination round. The top 2 students spelled 25 words in the nail-biting elimination round, in which the winner had to correctly spell their competitor’s misspelled word plus one more correctly to take the title. The final two participants missed four words in the elimination round, but their opponent also failed to spell it correctly, giving them another chance. The word that tripped up Katie in the final round was “visibility." Anthony spelled it correctly then spelled the word “convection” to win the spelling bee.