Stupendous spellers battle at bee

Brooklyn Daily
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How do you spell superstars?

Students from school districts 20 and 21 shined in a double-district spelling bee at IS 98 in Sheepshead Bay on Jan. 13. The junior high school students shocked the crowd with their stunning spelling skills, said a faculty member, who added that even the children who didn’t win maintained positive attitudes.

“It is a joy because they’re all eager. Everyone, of course, wants to be the winner, but you can see the excitement in the auditorium,” said Marietta Falconieri, IS 98’s librarian. “There was a lot of electricity going on there.”

Falconieri said IS 98’s principal Maria Timo is the force behind organizing the annual event. She said the school believes the spelling bees help the youngsters understand the role of spelling, which enhances the mind overall.

“Vocabulary is the key to reading and reading expands the mind,” said Falconieri.

The mother of the first place winner said that her youngster prepared for the spelling showdown simply by completing his everyday school routine.

“In general, he likes spelling and reading books a lot,” said Sultana Razia, whose son Sabeet Hossain has won the competition before. “He reads, but he didn’t practice for the spelling bee that much — he didn’t have time. He had school, homework.”

Falconieri said she hopes that as the kids grow up they continue to recognize the importance of superb spelling.

“It is the key to success,” she said.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
Updated 5:39 pm, July 9, 2018
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