Bee Determines Island’s Top Spellers

Chuck Kapelke    The city’s poets laureate and spelling bee judges flank the top five spellers in last Saturday’s competition. Left to right: Cathy Dana, Thomas McMuldren, Adriana Argyriou, Ella Banchieri, Vincent Gao, Elizabeth Tsyvinsky and Gene Kahane.

In a heated competition that resulted in a head-to-head match up that went back and forth between the final two competitors, Academy of Alameda seventh grader Thomas McMuldren emerged victorious at the Alameda Spelling Bee last Saturday. The final duel with Adriana Argyriou, a fifth grader at Haight Elementary School, came down to the words “isthmus” and “rogue” which McMuldren spelled correctly to earn the 2018 title of Island’s Top Speller. (McMuldren finished second in the 2017 Bee.)  

McMuldren and nine of his fellow competitors will next represent the Island City at the Alameda County Spelling Bee set for Saturday, March 10. Alameda Elks Lodge will sponsor their entry fees. 

The Island’s top 10 spellers, in order of performance are: McMuldren; Argyriou; Ella Banchieri, seventh grade, Lincoln Middle School (LMS); Vincent Gao, a ninth grader; Elizabeth Tsyvinsky, eighth grade, LMS; Hazel Purins, eighth grade, LMS; Oxford Lewis, sixth grade, Alameda Community Learning Center; Niranjana Kumar, fourth grade, Wood Middle School; Suyue Li, fourth grade, Earhart Elementary School and Oscar Kring, fifth grade, Otis Elementary School. 

Benji Kapelke, a fifth grader at Otis, finished in 11th place and will serve as first alternate if any of the top 10 cannot attend the county bee.

The Alameda Spelling Bee is a volunteer effort coordinated by local parent Chuck Kapelke. It took place at Otis Elementary School.