Catholic students win state spelling bee, poster contests

State spelling bee, SCISA, South Carolina Independent School Association, Angela Montes, Anthony Alber

State spelling bee, SCISA, South Carolina Independent School Association, Angela Montes, Anthony Alber

Montes takes first place in spelling bee
KINGSTREE—Spelling can be a tricky business, with all the silent letters, vowels that mimic another vowel’s sound, and exceptions to every rule.

But Angela Montes and Anthony Alber did not let that stop them during a state spelling bee held by the S.C. Independent School Association. The students claimed first and second prize, respectively, for the sixth grade.

Angela is a student at St. Anthony in Florence and Anthony attends Prince of Peace in Taylors.

Principals at both schools said they were proud of their students, but not surprised by their accomplishments.

The spelling bee was held Feb. 17 at Williamsburg Academy in Kingstree. The two Catholic students clicked along with words like financier, petunia, paramecium, Siberian, poignant and didactic, said Michael Pennell, principal of Prince of Peace.

Angela Montes, St. Anthony Catholic School, FlorenceAngela and Anthony were the last two contestants standing and received the word roodebok, according to Sue Degar, secretary at St. Anthony.

Roodebok? It’s not listed in most dictionaries, but according to The Free Dictionary Web site it is the pallah, which is a large South African antelope.  

Angela said she had no idea what it was, but she knew how to spell it.

She then had to spell one more word correctly to clinch the title. This time she was given a word that sounds like: par’e dim. Putting her internal spell check in gear, she correctly translated that to paradigm. So much for phonetics.

Angela said she prepared by studying on her own for about 30 minutes each day. Phyllis Brandis, principal at St. Anthony, said both students received a trophy.

Robotics propels St. Michael to state
GARDEN CITY—St. Michael School scored big at the regional tournament for the FIRST LEGO Robotics League that was held in Charleston recently.

All three teams that competed were selected for the state championship at Clemson University on March 6. The teams tested their robots in a public demonstration at the local library in Surfside Beach.

St. Michael Catholic School, Garden City, FIRST LEGO Robotics League, win St. Michael Catholic School, Garden City, FIRST LEGO Robotics League, win

Coffey wins state poster contest
GREENVILLE—Luke Coffey, a seventh-grade student at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, was recently named a state winner in the Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest. Luke won a $75 Savings Bond and his entry advanced to the national poster contest. Luke is the son of Bill and Eileen Coffey of Greenville and is a member of St. Mary Magdalene Church.  

Other students from St. Joseph’s also received honors.

In the Alcohol Awareness Category, 12-14 division: first place, Luke Coffey; second place, Francesca Malafronte; third place, Sarah LeBlanc; honorable mention, Haley Berryman, Elizabeth Hernandez and Sam Reidt.

In the Drug Awareness Category, 12-14 Division: first place, David Durham; second place, Vicki Schwark; third place, Madeline McChesney; honorable mention, Keyes Gilmer, Nicole McElveen and Mary Ellen Grosskopf.

In the Drug Awareness Category, 8-11 Division: third place, Andrew Burnikel; honorable mention, Charles Vandross. Winning posters can be viewed at

St. Mary’s Lady Ducks seal conference tournament with 3-pointer
St. Mary Catholic School, Greenville, girls' middle school basketball team, Carolina Middle School Conference Tournament, 2010GREENVILLE—The girls’ middle school basketball team from St. Mary School claimed the championship at the Carolina Middle School Conference Tournament. The Lady Ducks won in overtime on a 3-point shot by Mosely Palms. The team completed the season with a record of 13-4, earning runner-up in regular conference play. Kara Hunt and Kilian Meilinger were named to the All-Conference Team. The Lady Ducks have won the tournament championship five years in a row. The boys’ team also had a season record of 13-4 and were runner-ups in regular conference play. The Ducks placed third in the tournament. Christopher Bondura and Connor Donohue were selected to the All-Conference Team.

In other school news, Natalie Rogers was selected as the winner of the essay contest, “What St. Mary’s Means to Me.” The contest has been incorporated into the National Catholic Schools Week for over 20 years. Click here to read Natalie’s essay.

Students primed for state math meet
AIKEN—The MathCounts team from St. Mary Help of Christians School won first place recently at the Regional MathCounts competition. Also, David Stoner, a seventh-grader, won first place in the individual written exam and in the countdown round, when the 16 participants with the top written scores met head-to-head for a final winner.

Five of the students in the Countdown round were from St. Mary. The regional meet was sponsored by the Aiken Chapter of the S.C. Society of Professional Engineers. The MathCounts team will advance to the state contest at The Citadel in Charleston on March 6.

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