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West Hartford Spelling Bee Champ Will Move on to Connecticut Bee

West Hartford Spelling Bee Champion Sophie Kudler (center). Submitted photo

King Philip Middle School student Sophie Kudler won the West Hartford Town-Wide Spelling Bee, and along with the winners from Bristow and Sedgwick, will move on to compete in the Connecticut Spelling Bee.


Sophie Kudler, an eighth-grader from King Philip Middle School, is the spelling champion from West Hartford.

On Jan. 16, 2018, the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society sponsored the West Hartford Town-Wide Spelling Bee at West Hartford Town Hall. Spellers hailed from King Philip, Sedgwick, and Bristow middle schools.

Each school is sending their spelling champion to the Connecticut Spelling Bee, co-presented by the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society and The Hartford Courant. The West Hartford spellers will compete against students between grades 4 and 8 from around the state of Connecticut.

To win the West Hartford Town-Wide Spelling Bee, Sophie out-spelled 22 competitors in 21 rounds of grueling vocabulary words.

The last 13 rounds amounted to a stand-off between Sophie and fellow King Philip Middle School student Sal Katz. Sophie was named the champion after correctly spelling the word “prominent” in Round 21.

Along the way, Sophie and Sal delighted the audience by correctly spelling such words as: “gauss,” “caravel,” “expatiated,” “formaldehyde,” “vicissitudes,” and “coquelicot.”

Sophie’s interests go beyond spelling. She has been a competitive swimmer since the age of 6. She loves making pottery, her favorite subject is math, and she enjoys reading. Sophie aspires to be a physician when she grows up.

Sophie will represent King Philip Middle School in The Connecticut Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the University of Saint Joseph. Joining her will be Allyson Morozuk from Sedgwick Middle School and Quinn Moynihan from Bristow Middle School.

Congratulations are in order for all 23 spellers who competed in the West Hartford Town-Wide Spelling Bee! It was a major feat to make it to the town-wide competition. Without further ado, join us in celebrating the achievements of: Mercedes Roussos, Julian Hartland, Jake Esterson, Noah Koffman-Adsit, Thalia Portugal, Avery Woods Weber, Jenny Zhao, Julia Savo, Irene Fotache, Hilary Davis, Sal Katz, Timmy Baumer, Martin Moran, Alek Duprey, Jack Marzi, Ellie Schaefer, Camden Rancourt, Macy McPhee, Allyson Morozuk, Abigail Gamache, Quinn Moynihan, and Marlene Pegolo.

This is the second year the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society will co-sponsor the Connecticut Spelling Bee with The Hartford Courant. Noah Webster, the original American lexicographer responsible for publishing the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language was born in West Hartford. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, descendant of Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, is the final authority and source for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is over 90 years old. Peter Sokolowski, editor of Merriam-Webster, dubbed spelling bees “the purest use of the dictionary.” The dictionary is a living document with new words being added annually to reflect our ever-changing language. Spellers engaging in the Spelling Bee tradition are intimately familiar with language trends, etymology, and how in the world to use pronunciation guides.

The public is invited to join in the fun. Space in the Bruyette Athenaeum’s Hoffman Auditorium on the University of Saint Joseph campus is limited, and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. This event is free to the public.

For information on the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society’s extensive school and public programs, visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org or call 860-521-5362.

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