Shrewsbury’s Oak Middle School PTO hosts first Annual Spelling Bee


By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

(l to r) William Chen, Nayan Kaul and Varsha Swaminathan at the Oak Middle School Spelling Bee,
Photo/Melanie Petrucci

Shrewsbury – “Susceptible” and “tarragon” were the deciding words at the Oak Middle School Spelling Bee held Nov. 22 in the Oak Middle School Auditorium.

William Chen, spelled the word “tarragon” correctly after Nayan Kaul was eliminated with an incorrect spelling of “susceptible,” in the 13th round. Varsha Swaminathan came in third in a single elimination format where participants were eliminated on their first incorrect spelling. All three students are in the eighth grade.

Other words correctly spelled were “proportionate”, “synesthesia”, “Connemara” and “vortices”.

The PTO sponsored event drew 33 seventh and eighth graders. William will go on to participate in a regional tournament in Boston where the winner will have the opportunity to go on to the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

Spelling Bee judge Jon Wensky said that this was the schools’ first Annual Middle School Spelling Bee. The Sherwood Middle School Spelling Bee recently held a similar spelling bee with 43 participants. Its winner will participate in a regional competition in Lynn.

Wensky, who is also a member of the Shrewsbury School Committee, was joined by Oak faculty members Grace McKenzie and Sarah Powers in judging the event.

Madhu, a parent of a Sherwood Middle School student came up with the idea to bring a spelling bee to both schools because he has a son who has competed in spelling bees.