PARSIPPANY, NJ – Seventh grader Yuwen Zhang spelled the word “schizophrenia” to take first place at the Spelling Bee held Feb. 28 and sponsored by the New Jersey Consortium for the Giffted and Talented Program.
Zhang was one of nine students to represent Chatham Middle School in the competition. The CMS team consisted of sixth-graders Sam Alterman, Luka Batljan and Zoe Horowitz; seventh-graders Taryn Roffina, Rhea Sinha, Darren Yen, and Zhang, and eighth graders Alice Kass and Matt Jogodnik.
There were 142 students competing, representing 14 schools. Zhang did exceptionally well during the preliminary, consecutive rounds and the semifinals. In the final round, Zhang battled his opponent for 20 minutes. Finally, the other finalist misspelled “glockenspiel” before Zhang correctly spelled "schizophrenia'' to win it.
Zhang won a $100 gift certificate, a trophy and a ribbon. The other top finishers representing Chatham were Sinha, who placed 11th, and Jogodnik, who finished fourth.