Skip To Main Content

Main Menu

Explore More

Valley Central eighth grader wins Orange-Ulster BOCES regional spelling bee

Sophie Amchentsev

For the second straight year, Sophia Amchentsev from the Valley Central School District is the champion of the Orange-Ulster BOCES regional spelling bee sponsored by the Times Herald-Record. The competition involved fourteen spellers from seven local schools. To prepare, spellers studied Words of the Champions, the 4,000-word study resource provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Due to the pandemic, the Orange-Ulster BOCES Regional Spelling Bee was administered through the online testing platform provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Amchentsev was declared the winner with the top score of 49 out of 50 questions. 

Amchentsev now advances to compete in the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. In addition to qualifying for the national finals, Amchentsev also wins these prizes:

  • The Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, a 2021 United States Mint Proof Set provided by Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar Financial, in honor of his father. Amchentsev will receive the prize this summer.
  • A one-year subscription to Britannica Online Premium, the premier online resource from Encyclopædia Britannica.
  •  A one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online, the official word source for all levels of competition for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • First prize plaque and ribbon donated by Orange County School Boards Association.
  • A Certificate of Participation provided by Orange-Ulster BOCES, signed by Mr. William Hecht, Chief Operating Officer.

The second place winner is Abhilash Patel from the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District. The third place winner is Jacob Ciriello from the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District as well. Ciriello also finished third last year. The second and third place winners each win these prizes:

  • $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card donated by the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties
  • A plaque and ribbon donated by Orange County School Boards Association.
  • A journal and pen set.
  • A Certificate of Participation provided by Orange-Ulster BOCES, signed by Mr. William Hecht, Chief Operating Officer.

Abhilash Patel

Jacob Ciriello

The Bee reaches millions of students across the country and in other parts of the world with the classroom materials it provides to enrolled schools. The purpose of the Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

About Orange-Ulster BOCES:

The mission of the Orange-Ulster BOCES is to serve our component districts and community in the development of continuous learners who will be successful in meeting the challenges of living in our society today and in the future. We will accomplish this mission in a cost effective manner with a dedicated, skilled, caring staff providing quality educational services in a safe, nurturing, and accessible environment.

About the Scripps National Spelling Bee:

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational competition. Visit spellingbee.com for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company.