After 33 rounds, a fifth grader won the Carlisle Elementary School Spelling Bee Tuesday and will advance to the next level of competition later this semester.
Eli Zagorski was one of nine students from third, fourth and fifth grade who participated in the spelling competition Tuesday morning and won the competition after he and his fellow competitors exhausted the list of elementary school words and had to begin spelling sixth grade words.
After winning the competition, Eli said he felt “really good” and said it “felt incredible” when he learned that they had run out of elementary school words.
Eli, an avid reader, said he didn’t do more than two hours of studying for the spelling bee.
“I just studied the hard words,” Eli said.
He added that he wasn’t nervous about the online spelling test he will take later this semester.
Eli’s mother, Tiffany Zagorski, who was present for the competition, said she’s “super proud of him.”
“It’s a happy feeling to see him excel,” Tiffany Zagorski said.
Delaware City Schools Board of Education member Jayna McDaniel-Browning, who was one of the judges for the event, said she was amazed by the quality of the competition.
“I’m really impressed with how hard they worked,” she said. “To have gone 33 rounds was absolutely amazing.”
First grade teacher and spelling bee organizer Catherine Keller said this year’s competition was “great.”
“Our contestants, all brave students for electing to participate, seemed to have fun and really enjoy the competition,” Keller said. “It was awesome having parents here, and many were former spelling bee contestants themselves just like our judges, Mrs. McDaniel-Browning and Mr. (Bryan) Howard from the Delaware County (District) Library.”
Keller said she hopes students come away from the competition with an increased appreciation for reading.
“It is important for students to know they can never read too much,” she said. “Keep reading. It helps you become better at spelling just by being exposed to words. I hope students are proud and that they participate again next year if they are still at Carlisle.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.