Piampiano returns for the win at Scituate Spelling Bee

Piampiano returns for the win at Scituate Spelling Bee

Daniel Piampiano, a 7th-grader at Scituate Middle School, wins the Scituate Spelling Bee by successfully spelling the word “cinnamon.” The spelling bee was held at Scituate High School last Wednesday. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

SCITUATE – Seventh-grader Nicholas Piampiano proved that a little practice and perseverance can go a long way as he claimed the title at the Scituate Spelling Bee last Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Last year’s runner-up, Piampiano went six rounds against 5th-grader Lea Aquino from Hope Elementary School in this year’s competition. Aquino emerged as runner-up, while Piampiano, the son of Nicholas and Diane Piampiano, claimed the win.

This year’s socially distanced setup had families separated in groups at the Scituate High School auditorium, and spellers sat at least six feet apart on the stage.

Spellers and attendants all wore masks. An at-home audience tuned into the competition via Zoom.

Piampiano, who attends Scituate Middle School, struggled in the eighth round when he incorrectly spelled Algiers without the I. He had another chance when Aquino misspelled her championship word, Benedictine, spelling it as B-e-n-i-c-t-i-n-e.

Piampiano went three more rounds before winning the competition with the hard-to-pronounce cinnamon. Though he struggled over the pronunciation of the word before spelling it, he quickly ran through the eight-letter word.

He also correctly spelled words such as schedule, bipolar, Jesuit, au revoir, invoke, cloisters, vocabulary and artery.

Piampiano came close to the win last year and told The Valley Breeze & Observer he spent the day leading up to the competition studying spelling. He said he reads often and enjoys fiction books with sci-fi and fantasy themes. “The Da Vinci Code” is among his favorite books.

“I read a lot. I enjoy all genres, particularly fiction,” he said.

For the state spelling bee in March, Piampiano said he plans to study more and is practicing his words every day.

Runner-up Aquino performed well in the spelling bee last year and came back for a near win in the eighth round. She correctly spelled words such as fester, Oregon, testosterone, propound, Ganges, assuage, galaxy, hooligan and scabbard before tripping up on winnow in round 11.

She added a silent H to the word, which means to analyze and sort to obtain the most desirable, spelling it w-h-i-n-o-w.

Fallon Green and Alexander Chiappone also made it far in the competition but were knocked out in the fifth round when Green misspelled knickerbockers, confusing the CK for an X, and Chiappone added an extra M to samosas.

Spellers for the 2020 Scituate Spelling Bee included:

Alternate Tyler North, grade 6, Molly Sheehan, grade 7, Valentina Mancini, grade 6, Finn Wilkie, grade 8, of Scituate Middle School

Jackson Branch, grade 4, Fallon Green, grade 5, of North Scituate Elementary School

Aubree Silvia, grade 4, of Hope Elementary School

Venezio Santilli, grade 4, of Clayville Elementary School.

All of the students received trophies for participating in the Scituate Spelling Bee. Special trophies were awarded to the winner, Daniel Piampiano, a 7th-grader at Scituate Middle School, front row right, and runner-up Lea Aquino, a 5th-grader at Hope Elementary School.
Scituate Spelling Bee judges were, from left, Courtney Francis, principal at Clayville Elementary School; Dana Morel, principal at Hope Elementary; and Cindy Gould, a reading specialist at North Scituate. The Scituate School Department’s Spelling Bee was held at the high school last Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Tyler North, a 6th-grade student at Scituate Middle School, is one of the first to try to spell a word in the Scituate School Department’s Spelling Bee held at Scituate High School last Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Lea Aquino, a 5th-grader at Hope Elementary School, was the second-place winner at the Scituate School Department’s Spelling Bee competition last Wednesday.