On Tuesday March 1, 2016, Central Middle School conducted its SECOND ANNUAL SPELLING BEE. There were 54 contestants from sixth, seventh and eighth grade. The Bee was coordinated and organized by Mrs. Joanne Hirsch (eighth grade English teacher), and the judges were Mr. Thomas Curcio (eighth grade English teacher) and Mrs. Nancy McMahon (seventh grade English teacher). The pronouncer was Mr. Tony Maccarella, retired social studies teacher who volunteered to come back especially for this event. In attendance were students, faculty, administrators and parents. All of the words came from the Scripps National Spelling Bee website and included selected words from each grade level (which students had the opportunity to study) plus random words of varying difficulty, including commonly used words and phrases from other languages, that were not seen ahead of time by students. The competition was extremely intense and lasted for 25 rounds (until 12:30)!! The final four contenders, Ananya Vasireddy (seventh grader), Shuba Prasadh(eighth grader), Theresa Zhang(eighth grader) and Rebecca Lam (sixth grader) were battling for the championship for 13 rounds. Ultimately, Ananya came through with the championship word “lithoglyphite."
It is clear that all of the participants took this academic challenge seriously and prepared thoroughly for the competition, and all of the students received a certificate of achievement. A plaque to honor the champion's achievement is being ordered in her name, and a second plaque displayed within the school will include her name, the year, and the winning word. In addition, she has received a certificate of achievement and a free online subscription to Encyclopedia Brittanica for one year. The second place winner, Rebecca Lam, also received a free online subscription to Encyclopedia Brittanica for one year.