Winthrop Avenue School held its annual fourth-grade spelling bee on Friday, and some of the best spellers in Bellmore were on display.
To be able to participate in the school-wide spelling bee, the 16 finalists first had to win a preliminary spelling bee in their classroom.
"All of the contestants who participated today were there for a reason," Winthrop Principal Sally Curto said. "We had classroom spelling bees first and then the winners from the classroom spelling bees came up here on stage and did their best."
Advancing to Friday's finals were Kevin Ivers, Sydney Schwinger, Jennifer Liu, Hunter Moran, Sarah Nemorin, Christian Palazzotto, Jack Adams, Matthew Yeh, Ashley Romeo, Gregory Schwartz, Ahmed Bendary, Morgan Useloff, Amanda Huang, David Tamargo, Nicole Failla and Thomas Ham.
The 16 finalists' ability to spell was evident from the start, as not one student misspelled a first-round word.
There were a few close calls, as well as some near misses, but after 10 rounds, just two students were left: Ivers and Palazzotto.
After Palazzotto misspelled "utensil," Ivers was given a chance to win by spelling the same word correctly and then spelling an additional word. Ivers correctly spelled "utensil" and then went on to correctly spell the final word, "generation," to win the competition for the second consecutive year.
Ivers won the third-grade spelling bee last year as well.
"He's from the advanced learner class. He's phenomenal," said Ivers' fourth-grade teacher Phinola Baeza. "He's a very bright boy and he's very humble. He deserved to win."
Curto added: "Kevin is an excellent student. … We're very proud of him."
Ivers' mother and grandparents were also on hand to witness his triumphant victory.
"This is the second year in a row that he won and I'm very proud of him," said Ivers' mother Phyllis Ivers. "I'm glad his grandparents could be here to see him win. I had full confidence he was going to do great."
As for Kevin, he couldn't have been more excited about winning the spelling bee. "It's a good feeling," he said.
In the end, the spelling bee showcased 16 well-deserving spellers and while only one student can win, all were applauded by the staff, students, parents and principal for their impressive spelling abilities.
"They're all really superb spellers and this is one area where they really excel and can be so confident," Curto said. "So it's great to give them that opportunity to show their confidence in the area of spelling."