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Students Compete in Spelling Bee

On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, the Cortland Enlarged City School District's 2018-19 Elementary Spell Off was held at the Kaufman Center. Each elementary building was represented by one student who had won a spelling competition in his/her building.  Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Jeff Craig, dictated fifty words for the local written spell off. The words were chosen randomly from the 2018-2019 Great Words list.

The top three elementary finalists (Gabriel Mendiola, Victoria Ramiza, and Lucas Fetterly) along with three junior high finalists (Jack Phelan, Matthew DeRado, and Mya Romans) will represent the Cortland Enlarged City School District and compete in the 2019 Post-Standard Spelling Bee. Contestants must not have passed beyond eighth grade before Feb. 1, 2019 or reached their 16th birthday on or before May 25, 2019 to be eligible.  All students will compete at the same grade level.

The first level of competition in Syracuse is a written spell off exam at Christian Brothers Academy on Saturday, January 12. The top thirty-five spellers from the written bee will compete in an oral bee on Saturday, March 2, at WCNY Studios in Syracuse.

Gabriel Mendiola, 5th grade student at Barry School said, “I studied a lot for this. I wanted to take part in the spelling bee because I know my mom was in a spelling bee when she was growing up. I knew that my parents would be proud if I took part and tried my best.” Gabriel’s teacher, Tina Ricoltelli attended the spelling bee and said, “Gabriel is an avid reader. He is constantly reading books and learning about language. I am so proud of him for doing well.”

Lucas Fetterly, a 6th grader at Smith School is no stranger to spelling competitions. Lucas said, “last year I made it to the next round of competition at Christian Brothers Academy.  I am excited I get to go back to CBA this year.”

Victoria Ramiza, a 6th grader at Parker School said, “I did not think I was going to win so I am happy that I am going on to CBA. I did study really hard and am going to continue to study for the next round. I found that most of the words were not as hard as I thought they were going to be.”

We wish to congratulate these gifted spellers, and wish them good luck and success on January 12, 2019.

Elementary Participants (Finalists are noted with *)

  • Gabriel Mendiola,* Barry School, 5th Grade
  • Victoria Ramiza,* Parker School, 6th Grade
  • Lucas Fetterly,* Smith School, 6th Grade
  • Dante’ Wilson, Randall School, 6th Grade
  • Aubree Larkin, Virgil School, 6th Grade

Junior High Finalists

  • Jack Phelan,* 7th Grade
  • Matthew DeRado,* 7th Grade
  • Mya Romans,* 7th Grade



Mr. Michael J. Hoose, Superintendent

1 Valley View Drive
Cortland, NY 13045

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