Eighth-grader Brandon Dessereau and seventh-grader Amaan Ali advance to Orange-Ulster BOCES Regional Spelling Bee after winning school contests

spelling bee winnersCongratulations to eighth-grader Brandon Dessereau and seventh-grader Amaan Ali, who won their grade-level spelling bees and now advance to the Orange-Ulster BOCES Regional Spelling Bee, which will be held in March..

Brandon’s winning word was “animatronics.” He noted he prepared for the spelling bee by reviewing the sheets offered to him by the library, reading the dictionary and being quizzed by his parents. He felt spelling was important because in every job, a person needs to know how to write and spell.

Amaan’s winning word was “improve.” To prepare for the spelling bee, Amaan also said he reviewed lists of words and asked his mother to quiz him. He felt spelling was important because words are how people express their feelings, so it is important to spell things correctly.

Both students will compete against students representing other school districts in the upcoming regional competition.  To prepare, spellers will study “Words of the Champions,” the 4,000-word study resource provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The winner of the Orange County bee advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

The word “bee,” as used in “spelling bee,” is one of those words that has never been satisfactorily accounted for, according to the Scripps National Spelling Bee Association. A fairly old and widely-used word, it refers to a community social gathering at which friends and neighbors join together in a single activity (sewing, quilting, barn raising, etc.) usually to help one person or family.

The concept of young people competing to spell words goes back to at least 1808, however it’s likely there were informal competitions long before then.