District 24 students C-O-M-P-E-T-E


One by one, students in first- through sixth-grade took to the stage at the Brooklyn Avenue School to compete in the school’s annual spelling bee on Feb. 25.

The first- and second-graders competed against each other first, then the third- though sixth-graders competed. To win, a student had to out-spell their competitors and spell a championship word.

Amberley Gajraj, a second-grader, won the first- and second-grade competition, and Jessica Iroetugo, a sixth-grader, won the third- through sixth-grade competition.

“I thought the children did a wonderful job,” said Principal Scott Comis. He said the competition not only strengthened the students’ academics, but also strengthened their social and emotional skills by having them stand on stage in front of their family members, peers and teachers.

Also in attendance was Patrick Biondolillo, a sixth-grader from the Robert W. Carbonaro School. In February, Biondolillo studied more than 500 words aurally for at least two hours a day, according to his mother, Mary.

His hard work paid off, as he won his school’s spelling bee and earned a high enough score on the Scripps online spelling test to compete in the Long Island Regional Scripps Spelling Bee at St. Joseph’s College on March 20.

“He’s going to try it,” said Mary, “and he knows it’s an experience, win or lose.”