Spelling Bee kick-off celebration takes place at Traphagen Elementary School
By Deena Parham
On January 22, 2007, Principal Joseph Jordano introduced Trappy the Clown as she entered the Traphagen Elementary School Auditorium with great fanfare. The members of the Traphagen drum corps encouraged the students to clap their hands, as Trappy congratulated them on the school’s official entry into the Mount Vernon City School District’s Spelling Bee.
Traphagen’s 355 students from grades kindergarten through six, will soon embark on a language odyssey, as they learn to see, say, and spell new words. Students in grades four through six will have the opportunity to compete in the larger district-wide competition for grades four through eight.
Trappy, played by Assistant Principal Barbara Schrager, introduced several students who were asked to the stage to define four words of the day and use each one in a sentence. The words were: soliloquy, embarrassment, miscellaneous, and crochet. The entire audience merrily recited and spelled each word with the students. The Traphagen cheerleaders later appeared on stage to spell each word once again for reinforcement, as they cheered.
Last week, students had a special showing of the movie “Akeelah and the Bee” to gear them up for the school-wide spelling bee competition. The movie is about an 11-year-old student’s meteoric rise to academic stardom after being chosen to participate in the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Inspired by the movie, and the day’s celebration, the students were ready to let the competition begin. Schrager and Jordano asked the students, “What school is sending the Mount Vernon winner to Washington D.C.?” They all responded, “Traphagen!”
All participating Mount Vernon elementary and middle schools will compete in the spelling bee finals, to be held on March 22, 2007. The winner of that contest will represent Mount Vernon at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May. This will be Mount Vernon’s first time entering the contest, which is sponsored and endorsed by the Mount Vernon Inquirer. Co-sponsors include the City of Mount Vernon, the PTA Council, and a host of other donors have also contributed funding to date.
School officials with Traphagen students
Excited students at the Spelling Bee Kick-Off Celebration
Traphagen student recites the word of the day as Trappy the Clown looks on
Traphagen Cheerleaders spell out the word of the day