John Mills Student Repeats as District Spelling Bee Champ

John Mills Student Repeats as District Spelling Bee Champ

PHOTO: Spelling Bee winner Andrew Ticao receives congratulations from Elmwood Principal Mr. Kevin Seibel at the conclusion of Friday's contest.

Andrew Ticao, a 5th grader at John Mills Elementary School, has won the Elmwood Park Spelling Bee for the second consecutive year.

He achieved the feat Friday, Jan. 20, at Elmwood Elementary School as students from Mills and Elmwood demonstrated their spelling skills before an audience of hundreds of fellow students, parents and community members.

Standout Spellers

The contest featured 30 competitors — 15 from Elmwood and 15 from Mills. Selected from grades 4-6, the students were the top spellers in each of their schools based on the results of the Spelling Bee’s qualifying exam.

Five students reached the 12th round, but only Andrew was left standing, correctly spelling “intellect” and “monitor” to clinch the title.

Last year as a 4th grader, Andrew won the Spelling Bee after more than 30 rounds of competition, many of them one-on-one with the runner-up, Seth Tingal of Elmwood (now a 7th grader at Elm Middle School).

PHOTO: Students from John Mills and Elmwood display their certificates following the 2017 Elmwood Park Spelling Bee.

What’s Next

Friday’s contest was the first step in a multi-stage selection process that will choose participants throughout the country for the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee, scheduled for May 28 to June 3 in the Washington, D.C., area.

Andrew will now advance to the next round for area qualifiers, the West Suburban Cook County Bee, to be held Feb. 8 at McClure Junior High School in Western Springs. He will also receive a yearlong subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Judges and Coaches

The judges for this year’s Elmwood Park contest were Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kevin M. Anderson, ECC Principal Ms. Joanne Mourikes Rice and Elm Middle School Principal Dr. Kathleen Porreca. The official pronouncer was Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Nicolas Wade.

The Elmwood and John Mills teams were coached, respectively, by Ms. Stephanie Hagins and Mr. Peter LoPresti. Enrichment teacher Ms. Annina Wanzung also assisted students as they prepared for the competition.
For more information about how the students got ready for the contest, click here.