Catasauqua Press

Monday, August 21, 2017
press photos by mark reccekCatasauqua Middle School seventh-grade student Hannah Kurczeski placed first in this year’s Catasauqua Middle School Skripps National Spelling Bee, held Jan. 10. press photos by mark reccekCatasauqua Middle School seventh-grade student Hannah Kurczeski placed first in this year’s Catasauqua Middle School Skripps National Spelling Bee, held Jan. 10.
Winning speller Hannah is joined by Jeane Matthew Doria, the spelling bee runner-up. Winning speller Hannah is joined by Jeane Matthew Doria, the spelling bee runner-up.

CMS student advances to regional spelling bee

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 by MARK RECCEK Special to The Press in School

Seventh-grader Hannah Kurczeski spells the word ‘castellated’ for the win

Before you read it here, could you have spelled the word ‘castellated?’

Catasauqua Middle School seventh-grade student Hannah Kurczeski successfully did so at this year’s CMS Skripps National Spelling Bee Jan. 10.

That was the winning word for Hannah at the annual competition.

Jeane Matthew Doria was this year’s runner-up.

“I was shocked,” Hannah said of winning. “I really didn’t expect it, but I was really happy. I couldn’t believe it was happening.”

According to Hannah, she was surprised she won because there were a number of other students who continued to spell words correctly and remain in the competition, which lasted about 90 minutes.

Forty-five middle school students from all grades qualified to compete in the bee by scoring highest on a spelling test administered in December.

“I couldn’t

believe it was happening.”

Hannah Kurczeski

CMS student

The entire student body, as well as parents and other interested visitors, looked on as each of the competitors took on the challenge, one word at a time, in the middle school gymnasium.

Teacher David Troxell, who organized the competition according to Skripps National Spelling Bee regulations, moderated the event, reading each of the words and offering definitions when requested.

Hannah said she spent a great deal of time studying before the spelling bee.

“I studied a lot,” she said. “At least once every other day. And, I had my parents quiz me on different words.”

She is the daughter of Robert and Kathleen Kurczeski.

The ability to properly spell words, Hannah noted, has always been a strong trait she possesses.

Hannah said when studying and competing, she spells words out in her head and envisions the correct spelling.

She will now advance to the regional spelling bee competition. The time, date and location have yet to be scheduled.

“I’ll keep studying different words and make sure I know how to spell them,” she said of preparing for the regional competition, which will begin with a qualifying written test and then move on to a staged spell-off with students from other Lehigh Valley schools.

And by the way, Webster’s Dictionary says this is the meaning of Hannah’s winning word: having battlements like a castle.