By Jon Craig
There is only one student from Westchester County destined for the nation’s capital to compete in the annual E.W. Scripps National Spelling Bee — and that student is from Greenburgh
Harshita Shet, a fourth-grade student who also attends the Greenburgh Xposure afterschool program, placed first in the school district’s Bumble Bees competition on Thursday.
Harshita and other top spellers who outdistanced about 120 youngsters competing in the Greenburgh Central School District will be honored by the Greenburgh Town Board during Wednesday’s regular meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m.
Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner explained that when Ronald Ross first assumed office as Greenburgh’s Superintendent of Schools, he pledged to work hard to make Greenburgh the best school district around. “People laughed,” Feiner recalled. “The reason: Lots of people in town had given up on the district and send their children to private or parochial schools.
Feiner said that Thursday night, after watching some of the nearly 120 students from Greenburgh Central School district compete in the 2014 Spelling bee competition, “few were laughing. The school district may still not be the best in the county, state or nation but it is definitely turning around and providing our youth with a terrific education. If there is a national competition for most improved school district in the nation, I’d like to have the chance to nominate Greenburgh Central School district for the honor. If we all work hard — one day this school district can be one of the nation’s best!”
Nearly 250 sponsors from around the world will send their finalist to Washington, D.C. to compete nationally on May 25-31 in the national spelling bee. The finals will be televised live by ABC.
Thursday in Greenburgh, there were three competitions: A Honey Bees competition for kindergarten and first grade pupils; a Worker Bees competition for second and third graders; and a Bumble Bees competition for fourth through eighth graders.
All three top spellers are from Richard J. Bailey Elementary School. Sixth grade students Katie Eng placed second and Shrudhii Kundu finished third.
“Those who attended the spelling bee contest were impressed with all the student participants,’’ Feiner said.
“I would like to recognize the winners and participants and thank them for making our town proud,” Feiner said. “It’s my hope that parents who live in the school district will watch the tape of the competition, which will be broadcast on local TV, and give the school district a chance. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.”