Westfield Students Sweep District Spelling Bee

Christine Jablonski, Liberty District Spelling Bee chair and president, Woman's Club of Arlington; Ryan Gasson, 3rd place; Vivian Jeckell, 1st place; Kayla O'Brien, 2nd place and Holly Capobianco, past president and federation secretary, Junior Woman's Club of Arlington. Credits: photo courtesy of Christine McGrath, President of Junior Woman's Club of Verona

KEARNY, NJ — Three students from Westfield took first, second and third place at the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs Liberty District Spelling Bee on Saturday. Fifth grader Vivian Jeckell came in first, fifth grader Kayla O’Brien came in second and fourth grader Ryan Gasson came in third. All three were sponsored by the Junior Women’s Club of Westfield.

Fifteen contestants competed at the Franklin School Auditorium in Kearny after placing in the top three in their own club-level spelling bees, hosted by one of five Junior Woman’s Clubs: Arlington (in Kearny), Cedar Grove, Summit, Verona and Westfield. After 10 rounds and six spell-offs, “hobble” was the winning word. 

"I was so proud to be competing against the best spellers in the district,” said Jeckell, who received a Spelling Champion bee trophy. “I was really nervous at the beginning. My favorite word that I got was probably ‘goulash.’ I wasn't sure if I'd get it. Everyone got some really hard words, but I'm so proud of Westfield for sweeping the bee. I can't wait to see how we do in the state competition. It's really so much fun, and meant more to have my friend Kayla with me and Ryan from Westfield, too.” 

Sign Up for E-News

Prizes for the three finalists were gift cards from TD Bank funded by a grant from ExxonMobil. All 15 contestants in the Liberty District Spelling Bee received a certificate of participation. 

Jeckell, O’Brien and Gasson will move on to compete against other fourth and fifth graders from towns throughout New Jersey in the State Spelling Bee sponsored by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs on March 7 at the NJSFWC Headquarters on the campus of Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. (Snow date March 14.)

The Liberty District Spelling Bee was hosted by the Junior Woman’s Club of Arlington in Kearny. Volunteers from the Arlington and Verona clubs provided assistance for the Bee. Refreshments provided by the Arlington Juniors raised money for the NJSFWC Special State Project – NAMI New Jersey (National Alliance on Mental Illness).

Patricia Sherwen served as the official pronouncer. She has pronounced for several club and district spelling bees as an active volunteer for the Arlington Woman’s Club and Friends of the Kearny Library and is a Past President of the Junior Woman's Club of Arlington and a former reading specialist. The judges are former educators and currently represent the Arlington Woman's Club: Christine Jablonski, President and Chairman of the Liberty District Spelling Bee; and Una Phelan, a member of the Education Committee.

The event was moderated by Holly Capobianco (Past President and Federation Secretary – Junior Woman's Club of Arlington) and Christine McGrath (President, Junior Woman's Club of Verona) Sandra Uhler (Member – Junior Woman's Club of Arlington) videotaped and photographed the bee.

The Junior Women's Clubs that hold annual spelling bees are volunteer members of a statewide association of Women’s Clubs within the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. They provide opportunities for education, leadership training, and community service. For more information, visit and

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


17-Year-Old Academy for Information Technology Student Dies; GoFundMe Page Established to Help Family

July 21, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Seventeen -year-old Fenov Pierre-Louis, a Roselle resident and student at Union County's Academy for Information Technology, lost his battle with stage 4 Nueroblastoma cancer this week.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help his family. 

Diagnosed when he was a second grader, Fenov fought the disease for about half of his lifetime, ...

Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman, as county manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Westfield Community Center , Westfield

Rummage Sale


Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Businesses Report Thefts & More

July 18, 2018

July 11,2018 3:50 p.m.

A business located on the 100 block of Central Avenue reports being the victim of a theft. Unknown actor came into the business and removed $2,200.00 worth of property.

July 12, 2018 2:40 a.m.

Danny Burke, age 32, of Edison, NJ was arrested for driving while intoxicated pursuant a motor vehicle stop. Subject was arrested, processed and released to a ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County Sunday, July 22

July 20, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this weekend. The performance will be presented on Sunday, July 22 at 12:30 p.m. at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present an hour long performance of “Shakespeare Gumbo,” a stirring collection of ...

IRS Working on a New Form 1040 for 2019 Tax Season

The IRS plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season. The new 1040 – about half the size of the current version – would replace the current Form 1040 as well as the Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ. 


This new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form. The new form ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Picking up the Pieces – The Benefits of Account Consolidation

Over a lifetime of investing we often have numerous accounts located at different financial firms.  Rarely are these accounts managed with a grand plan that takes into account all the individual pieces.   Account proliferation can be detrimental to your investment performance, increase your risk profile, and lighten your pocketbook.  

Account consolidation offers the ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Welcomes Stephen A. Timoni to Firm

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C., announced that Stephen A. Timoni has joined the firm in its Westfield office. Stephen will focus his practice in the areas of Corporate and Health Care Law.

“Stephen brings additional depth and experience to our firm. He has tremendous experience in complex corporate, M&A and health care areas of practice. We anticipate that Stephen ...

Livingston Council Votes on Ordinance to Prohibit Vape Shops

July 19, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Concern about the increased use of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products were among the reasons why the Livingston Township Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting “vape shops,” or any establishment that primarily sells “electronic devices, liquid nicotine or vapor products,” in the township’s retail commercial ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more