SPARTA, NJ - On January 21, the Junior Woman’s Club of Sparta hosted the 22nd annual fifth grade spelling bee.

Parents, grandparents, siblings and friends gathered at the Mohawk Avenue School to show support for the thirty competing students.

Students from Helen Morgan, Hilltop Country Day School and Pope John Middle School participated.

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The first place winner of the Bee was Vaiden Pollard from Helen Morgan, with Evelynn Austin and Gregory Marino both from Pope John Middle School taking second and the third place.

Prize packages were awarded to the winners including donations from RJ Mars Store, Sparta Books, Sparta Lanes and Sparta Theater.

Judges for the event were Brad Davis, assistant principal at Sparta Middle School, Peggy Lami, Children’s Coordinator at the Sparta Public Library and Jacquelyn Burt, social studies teacher at Pope John XXIII High School.

Jayme McGauley led the event for the JWCS, with Kelly Lucadamo serving as pronouncer.

All three winners will go on to represent Sparta at the Highlands District Spelling Bee in Rockaway on February 4, with winners at the district level going on to compete at the State Championship in early March in New Brunswick.

The Junior Woman’s Club of Sparta is comprised of women from Sparta and the surrounding area who have come together to foster goodwill while organizing events and activities that bring our community together. Each year the JWCS raises and distributes thousands of dollars to local organization and charities. For more information visit