A Tradition of Excellence since 1657

Richardson Looks to Defend
Spelling Bee Crown

The line-up is set for the Huntington High School spelling bee finals, which are slated for Friday, February 17 in the school auditorium. Donovan Richardson, who won last year's competition, is returning to defend his crown along with 57 other contestants.

Joining Mr. Donovan in the finals is Kaitlin Dayton, Olivia Liepa, Katie Duval, Kenny McCarthy, Erik Marcinik, Leah Butz, Patrick Lombardi, Suzie Petryk, Caitlin Knowles, Holly Blakley, Page Bond, Gabriel Goldman, Josh Stickell, Andrew Ku, Brad Dwyer, Damon Clark, Brandon May, Olivia MacVicar-Flug, Samantha Levine, Lucie Gulino, Jeff Sun, Rebecca Alligood, Phil Ingle, Jaime Moskowitz and Allegra DePasquale.

Margaret Petryk, Emal Wafajow, Aaron Zimmerman, Nicole Burton, Maria Molina-Cano, Brian Gilbert, Tom Scott, Hector Rubio, Tyler Burton, Kyle Meit, Jessica Daniel, Evan Montreuil, Dan Gunton, Mark Drobnjak, Chaz Ruggieri, Annabel Smith, Kristin Berner, Tim Robbins, Ruth Seide, Hannah Leach, Ryan Casale, Jesse Reigot, Hailey Pagan, Robert Yates, Connor MacDonald, Meelod Wafajow, Bladimer Reyes, Naima D'Ennery Dejoie, Giovanni Strangio, Kevin McDonald, John Reilly and Sydney English have also reached the finals.

"This will be an exciting event," Superintendent James W. Polansky said. "The earlier rounds have already served to sharpen the vocabulary of students and the finals will take this process to even greater heights."

The spelling bee is sponsored by Huntington's English honor society chapter. Amy Eisen came up with the idea last year while she was serving as the organization's vice-president. Ms. Eisen has since graduated and is now studying at Northeastern University, but the spelling bee lives on.

Preliminary rounds of the competition were held in English classes. Organizational details were handled by the society's officers and members and its two advisors teachers Aimee Antorino and Bonnie Guarino.

The final round will be held during periods 7-9 on the final afternoon prior to the mid-winter vacation. All available classes are invited to attend the competition. English teacher Michael Schwendemann will serve as master of ceremonies.

Huntington School Board members Elizabeth Black and Emily Rogan will serve as final round judges, reading the words that contestants have to then spell out.

The judges are well-qualified for their roles. Mrs. Black taught English in Kings Park for more than 30 years and is currently an adjunct professor at St. Joseph's College. Mrs. Rogan is a professional journalist and writer who has written articles and penned essays, including one in the 2011 book,"Fits Starts and Matters of the Heart - 28 True Stories of Love, Loss and Everything in Between."

The English honor society has a membership of 163 this year. It is led by officers Brent Filippini (president), Emal Wafajow (vice-president), Ari Moskowitz (treasurer), Taylor Choy (secretary) and Laura Ironman (historian).

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