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Valley Central Seventh-Grader Wins Orange-Ulster BOCES Regional Spelling Bee

Two spelling bee participants
  • Instructional Support Services

Sophia Amchentsev, a seventh-grade student who attends Valley Central Middle School, became the first winner from her district since 2009 at the annual Orange County Spelling Bee held at Orange-Ulster BOCES on March 10.  The event is organized each year by Library Services at Orange-Ulster BOCES and co-sponsored by the Times Herald-Record, the Orange County School Boards Association and the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.

As a result of her win, Sophia will compete on the national level at the Scripps National Spelling Bee to be held in the Washington, D.C. area from May 24 through May 29, 2020. She will also receive subscriptions to Britannica OnLine and Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Eighth-grade student William Mackin III from Port Jervis Middle School was runner up, and the third-place winner was Jacob Ciriello, a seventh-grader, who attends Monroe-Woodbury Middle School.

The Times Herald-Record sponsors the local winner's participation in the national bee and will be sending Sophia, along with her parents, to represent Orange County in the national bee. Additional sponsors include Orange County School Boards Association and the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.

The three finalists were presented with plaques. Both second and third-place winners received Barnes and Noble gift cards. Each bee participant received a ribbon and certificate. The seventh and eighth-grade students competing this year were from the following schools:

  • Chester Academy Middle School
  • Cornwall Central Middle School
  • C. J. Hooker Middle School, (Goshen CSD)
  • Minisink Valley Middle School
  • Monroe-Woodbury Middle School
  • Valley Central Middle School
  • Washingtonville Middle School

The bee’s pronouncer was Aileen Behringer, Goshen High School Librarian. Judges included Catherine Gilligan, Librarian at Vails Gate Elementary School (Newburgh); Sheri McNair, Librarian at James I. O’Neill High School (Highland Falls); and Christine Banuls, Librarian at C.J. Hook Middle School (Goshen).

For more information about the spelling bee, please contact Library Services at Orange-Ulster BOCES (845) 781-4360.