Bridgeport crowns local spelling bee winner

BRIDGEPORT — The city and national spelling bee competitions don’t exactly line up.

While Janelle Newell, a sixth grader from Multicultural Magnet School went straight to regionals and then the Scripps National Spelling Bee last week, the district was holding its competition.

After 20 rounds, Kacey Cartagena, a fifth grader at Classical Studies Magnet Academy came out victorious. The winning word was “morsel.”

Second place went to Skyela Kemp, a sixth grader at Geraldine Johnson School. Third place went to Kathryn Velazquez, an eighth grader at High Horizons Magnet.

Melissa Jenkins, the district’s literacy director, said this is the first time Classical Studies won the competition. Moderator for the bee was Shaun Mitchell, an English teacher at Central High School.

Newell, meanwhile lasted two days inot the national competition, finally succumbing to the word “celtuce.” She vowed to begin preparing for the next bee the minute she returned home.