Young wordsmiths crowded the high school auditorium Wednesday night for the 25th annual Glen Rock Women in Community Services (WICS) .
Despite pressure, students in grades 4-5 successfully rounded off words like hallucination, scrump, museum, commission, cinnamon, and turquoise.
This year's winner is also something of a comeback kid.
Isabelle Dietrich, a 5th grade student at , took an early exit last year. This year, she wouldn't be denied. After nailing "ferocious" in the seventh round, Dietrich can now lay claim to the title of best elementary school speller in one of New Jersey's top school districts.
Along with a $10 gift certificate to , the Glen Rock WICS donated a $25 check to the champion. The top ten finishers all received gift certificates to BB&B.
Wednesday night marked an historic occasion for the elementary school students and parents, alike.
"Some of the adults last night were saying they remember the words they went out on in their own Spelling Bee days...even what they were wearing when it happened!" said Sue Frissora, an event organizer.
The students took their cues from the original authority on spelling in the borough. Cheryl Wardrop, a former president of the WICS, was this year's pronouncer.
"We specifically invited her to be the pronouncer this year's Bee due to the fact that this was the 25th year of the Bee, and because she introduced this annual event to our community's 4th and 5th grade children," said Donna Nihen, a WICS organizer.
"The Spelling Bee is just one special event that WICS, which supports many non-profit organizations in the area, reaches out to the children of our community, as well," Nihen added.
The final ten (including the winner) who received gift certificates to Books, Bytes and Beyond:
- Lauren Marraro, 5th grade, Coleman
- Zachary Speizer, 5th grade, Hamilton
- Anand Shetler, 5th grade, Hamilton
- Ian Hamilton, 4th grade, Academy of Our Lady
- Takeru Kishida, 5th grade, Coleman
- Caroline Kerper, 5th grade, Central
- Shivani Parulekar, 5th grade, Byrd
- Ethan McNamara, 5th grade, Coleman
- Andrew Birenbaum, 4th grade, Coleman
- Winner: Isabelle Dietrich, 5th grade, Coleman
[Editor's note: Correction – Parker Li was misidentified as Andrew Noe in photos 3, 5; Eric Asher was misidentified as Richard Perl in photo 10. Janet Wong should be credited with photo 13.]