Costello wins Smithfield District Spelling Bee

Costello wins Smithfield District Spelling Bee

The eventual winner of the Spelling Bee was Anna S. Costello of Gallagher Middle School. (Breeze photos by Robert Emerson)
The Gallagher Middle School student is heading to her fourth State Spelling Bee

SMITHFIELD – Returning for her fourth year, Gallagher Middle School 7th-grader Anna Costello won the Smithfield School District Spelling Bee on Friday when she correctly spelled “cyanide.”

Costello out-spelled nine other Smithfield students from grades 4-8 on Feb. 1 in the LaPerche Elementary School auditorium.

She will return to represent Smithfield in the Rhode Island State Spelling Bee on March 16 at Lincoln Middle School at 10 a.m.

Costello spelled through nine rounds to come out on top, correctly spelling “current,” “unity,” “siesta,” “gangrene,” “haberdashery,” “inertia,” “piedmont,” “consonant,” and “redundancy.”

For her championship word, Costello raised her chin and clenched her fist, speaking each letter confidently before repeating the word, “cyanide.”

Costello said she goes through a spelling study guide every night, and practices spelling out words verbally and by writing them down. If she gets one wrong, she said she writes it down five times in a row, or until she gets it correct. She said reading and writing also help her improve her vocabulary and spelling.

She said she is nervous for the state spelling bee, even if it’s her fourth time. She’s come close to winning in the past, taking the runner-up position last year.

“This is the year for state. At least I hope so,” Costello said.

Runner-up Emma Ferraro, an 8th-grader at Gallagher, correctly spelled eight words including “tomato,” “measure,” “guava,” “jacuzzi,” “cherished,” “éclair,” “muttonchops” and “trenchant.”

In the ninth round, Ferraro stumbled on “portentously,” pausing after misplacing the “u” before the “o.”

LaPerche Elementary Principal Julie Dorsey pronounced and defined most of the words. She offered praise to all the students participating.

“Do the best you can. You’re already winners of your own school’s bee,” Dorsey said. “You’ve worked really hard. We’re all really proud of you.”

On a few occasions, Dorsey handed the microphone to one of the three judges, Barbara Furtado, Trisha Marchetti and Georgette Brousseau, for help pronouncing some of the words.

Brousseau pronounced “gaiters” and “haberdashery” for the spellers, which the students were able to spell correctly.

Competitors were knocked out from the bee with words like “calculus,” “hibiscus,” “accompany,” “corrugated,” “pegasi,” “reprimand” and “emaciated.”

The top two spellers from each school competed in the Spelling Bee:

• Lillian Goodrich, grade 4, and Addison Cogswell, grade 5, from LaPerche Elementary

• Kaya Gaffney, grade 5, and Shane Trainor, grade 5, from McCabe Elementary

• Kaitlyn Deely, grade 5, and Alexys Perry, grade 5, from Old County Road Elementary

• Samantha Sanders, grade 4, and Luca Savastano, grade 4, from Winsor Elementary.

LaPerche Elementary School Principal Julie Dorsey, center, explains the rules of the Smithfield District Spelling Bee to the contestants and parents last Friday morning.
Participants listen to the Spelling Bee rules before the competition began, from left, Shane Trainor, of McCabe, Emma Ferraro, of Gallagher Middle School, Luca Savastano, of Winsor, Addison Cogswell and Lillian Goodrich, of LaPerche, Samantha Sanders, of Winsor, Kaya Gaffney, of McCabe, Alexys Perry and Kaitlyn Deely, of Old County Road School, and Anna Costello, of Gallagher Middle School.
Fourth-grader Lillian Goodrich, of LaPerche Elementary School, takes her time to ponder her word during the Smithfield district-wide Spelling Bee held at her school on Friday morning.