HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- Recess. Whenever.

Those were the two words that Gianna Balderas spelled correctly to win the Hasbrouck Heights Junior Woman’s Club 27th Annual Spelling Bee Friday night at Kiefer Auditorium.

The top three finishers, Balderas Jesni Martinez, and Ambher Hazratti, qualified to move on to the District Spelling Bee to be held in Hasbrouck Heights on Saturday, February 2 at 10am. 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 28 students was culled from the fourth and fifth grades in Euclid School, Lincoln, and Corpus Christi Schools. Each homeroom hosted its own spelling bee, sending the top two finishers to Friday’s town event.

Jennifer Tsigaras, president of the Junior Woman’s Club, was the moderator for the evening, welcoming the audience. She thanked the Board of Education, principals and teachers for their continued support of the Bee. 

The Spelling Bee rules were reviewed by Eileen Oettinger, Reading Teacher at Euclid 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; Patricia Caruso, Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education, and Joseph Mastropietro, Principal, Hasbrouck Heights Middle School. Mastropietro explained that the Junior Woman's Club's event was the inspiration for the middle school's spelling bee, which is affiliated with the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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 cable.  Early rounds the words varied from guard, wren, burglar, memorable, and exhale, among them. As the rounds went along, words got more difficult with conscious, texture, faucet, scowl, and recitation among them. Proper nouns, Italy, February, and Washington, were also asked. Students received definitions for homophones like steal and scene.



 Corpus Christi            Euclid School              Lincoln School 

.                                         4th Grade                                       

7 Matthew Cornelius      4 Evelette Broncano      8 Alba Darch

20 Dylan Novembre       6 Jessica Calbi                 10 Ethan Espinas

           15 Elianna Martinez        14 Emily Kalna

                                     23 Ethan Saltos             21 Khalep Rodriguez

                                     24 Enric Soni                  22 Mariam Safwat

                                     25 Cole Sudol                27 Kiyora Torres


.                                         5th Grade                                       

1   Gianna Balderas         3 Ryan Barrero             2 Anthony Baron

13 Ambher Hazratti        5 Gianna Bundrick        11 Dylan Fermin

                                    9 Rebecca Doherty         12 Sophie Haines

                                    16 Jesni Martinez           19 Clara Pietri-Munoz

                                    17 Eric Merolli                26 Parishay Syed

                                    18 Kayleigh Migrino       28 Zeus Zara

                                                                           30 Daniel Baez

The order of contestants was randomly selected prior to the Spelling Bee.


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