Updated at 4:55 p.m.
MONTCLAIR, NJ — Correctly spelling the word “electricity,” Charlotte McLaughlin, a fifth grader at Holy Trinity School, took first place in the Regional Spelling Bee Competition held in Montclair this weekend.
Arboria Abrams, a student at Franklin Elementary School*, came in third and was the only fourth grader to place in the competition.
“I can say hands-down that this is the most nerve-racking event I’ve ever attended — and I’ve learned that ‘nerve-wracking’ is a recent variant — far more tense, for the parents, than any sporting event or musical recital,” said Arboria’s father, Michael Abrams. “If I had to compete against those kids I would have lost many times over. There are a lot of bright kids in the region.”
Allison Guo, a fifth grader from Summit, took home second place. All three winners will go on to compete in the state bee in New Brunswick on March 7.
*The name of Arboria's school has been corrected from an earlier version. We apologize for the error.