Hasbrouck Heights Junior Woman's Club Hosts 25th Annual Spelling Bee

Nathalie DeGuzman, Anishka Chauhun, and Luis Ndocaj (left to right) were the top three finishers in the Hasbrouck Heights Junior Woman's Club 25th annual Spelling Bee. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
The students, judges and members of the Junior Woman's Club on stage before the Spelling Bee. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Jennifer Tsigaras, president of the Junior Woman's Club, welcomed the audience. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
A student spells for the judges. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
A student spells early in the Bee. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
The three finalists listen to the rules going into the last rounds of the event. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Judges were Patricia Caruso, President, Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education, Mimi Hui, Director, Hasbrouck Heights Public Library and Joseph Mastropietro, Principal, Hasbrouck Heights Middle School. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- N-e-p-h-e-w and M-a-r-y-l-a-n-d.

Those were the two words that Nathalie DeGuzman spelled correctly to win the Hasbrouck Heights Junior Woman’s Club 25th Annual Spelling Bee Friday night held at Kiefer Auditorium.

The top three finishers, DeGuzman, Anishka Chauhun, and Luis Ndocaj, all fifth graders, qualified to move on to the district spelling bee to be held in Rutherford. The top three finishers in the districts will move on to the state spelling bee to be held in New Brunswick.

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The field of 34 students was culled from the fourth and fifth grades in Corpus Christi, Euclid School and Lincoln School. Each homeroom hosted its own spelling bee, sending the top three finishers to Friday’s town event.

Jennifer Tsigaras, president of the Junior Woman’s Club, was the moderator for the evening, welcoming the audience. The Spelling Bee rules were reviewed by Karen Felicetti, Reading Specialist at Lincoln School. Cindy Capozzi, former JWC president and Media Specialist at Lincoln School, was the evening’s Pronouncer. The evening’s judges were Mimi Hui, Director, Hasbrouck Heights Public Library; Joseph Mastropietro, Principal, Hasbrouck Heights Middle School, and Patricia Caruso, President, Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education.

Capozzi began the evening allowing the students a non-scored round of spelling their names to get the students comfortable with speaking into the microphone, addressing the judges and answering in the required Spelling Bee format. The first word of the night was harvest.  Early rounds the words varied from visit, imply, blaze, waltzchuckle and gallon, among them. As the rounds went along, words got more difficult with aardvark, turquoise, spaghetti, camouflage, and carbohydrate among them.

The students went through 27 rounds, the longest event ever, according to Capozzi.








 Corpus Christi             Euclid School                 Lincoln School

                                         4th Grade                                    


Gianna Balderas



Mahi Patel



Anthony Baron


Johnson Okorie



Kayleigh Migrino



Giuliana Terranova


Camila Pineros



Laquan Archibald



Melanie Buffone


Victoria Santos



Isabel Popailo



Zeus Zara



Seher Mahajan



Anthony Siconolfi



Jesni Martinez



Daniella Saccone


.                                         5th Grade                                    


Deklan Birth



Andre Baculio



Jasmine Williams


Melanie Carmona



Luis Ndocaj



Nana Tabiri


Leah Kest



Ivanna Garcia



Lily Ismail


Lola Kest



Aditya Vij



Aya Tashiro



Kyle VonSeidelmann



Anishka Chauhun



Nathalie DeGuzman



Alexandra Powers



Gianna Garcia



Julianna Lohrmann


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