EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Sixteen top spellers from the first to the eighth grades competed in Atlantic Christian School’s annual Spelling Bee on Jan. 27. Seventh-grader Gabriella Goodwin, of Mays Landing, clinched first place. Gabriella will move on to represent ACS at the South Jersey Regional Spelling Bee this spring, which due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be held online.
This was Gabriella’s first spelling bee win, after competing two prior years when she was in the fourth and fifth grades. Third-grader Madelyn Petrinec, of Ocean City, placed second and sixth-grader Thomas Potenski, of Egg Harbor Township, placed third. The 16 all-star spellers from the first to eighth grades had advanced to the schoolwide bee by winning classroom spelling bees in December.
During the Jan. 27 bee, which was held on the stage in the gym, proud family members watched and cheered from the audience and fellow students watched via a livestream video in their classrooms. The bee went 48 rounds, with Gabriella and Madelyn going head to head for the last eight rounds before Madelyn misspelled “fawn” and Gabriella clinched the victory by correctly spelling the 232nd word in the bee — “gooey.”
“I’m so excited for Gabriella winning first place,” said Jessica Martin, the ACS Spelling Club adviser, who oversaw the bee. “She has consistently been one of the school’s top spellers for several years, and I’m confident she will represent ACS well at the regional bee.”
The 16 classroom finalists, by grade: first-graders Oritseyemi Pessu, of Mays Landing, and Ariel Wilkins, of Galloway Township; second-graders Charlotte Newman, of Egg Harbor Township, and Caitlin Doucett, of Mays Landing; third-graders Gabrielle DiSciascio, of Somers Point, and Madelyn Petrinec, of Ocean City; fourth-graders Mia Gaffney, of Galloway Township, and Gaebriel Hahn-Chaney, Mays Landing; fifth-graders Caelyn Domsic, of Marmora in Upper Township, and Antonino Miranda, of Mays Landing; sixth-graders Ethan Costello and Thomas Potenski, both of Egg Harbor Township; seventh-graders Gabriella Goodwin, of Mays Landing, and Layla Kent, of Egg Harbor Township; and eighth-graders Joshua Kinch and Alek Stein, both of Egg Harbor Township.