Shrewsbury middle school students compete in a spelling bee

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Shrewsbury middle school students compete in a spelling bee
Vasudha Madhusudhan smiles as she spells the final word correctly to win the Spelling Bee. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

SHREWSBURY – Schottische.

It’s a noun that describes a round dance that resembles a slow polka. It was also the winning word at the Sherwood Spelling Bee on Dec. 9 held by the Sherwood and Oak Parent Teacher Organization.

The competition was fierce.

After three hours of spelling, well over a dozen rounds of competition, and hundreds of words successfully spelled, Vasudha Madhusudhan was declared the champion, outlasting 46 of her classmates and competitors.

In addition to “schottische,” Madhusudhan also successfully spelled words like “wainscot,” “pogrom,” “weimaraner,” and “roodebok.”

Zuhaib Syed placed second in the spelling bee, spelling back and forth with Madhusudhan for several rounds.

Syed successfully spelled “waterzooi,” “pernicious,” and “melange” before ultimately misspelling “sarsaparilla,” which is a sweetened carbonated beverage flavored with sassafras and oil distilled from a European birch.

School Committee member Sandra Fryc and sixth grade teacher Thomas Angell volunteered to be judges for the competition. Mark Adler moderated the spelling bee, providing participants with the words’ pronunciation, etymology, and definition.

Sherwood Middle School Principal Jonathan Kelly, who was also present for the competition, said in a video message to the Sherwood community that “students who are able to do well in the spelling bee have an opportunity to participate in the national competition.”

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