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Ryan Gohlmann and Mira Yu with their 2017 BCYF Spelling Bee achievement certificates.

Once again, the Nazzaro Center was well represented in Boston’s Regional Spelling Bee, held at the Boston Public Library at Copley Square on Saturday March 19. With the ultimate prize an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the National Championship in Washington D.C., St. John School fifth grader Ryan Gohlmann and Eliot School sixth grader Mira Yu, both regular participants of BCYF Nazzaro’s youth program, were still in the running after ten rounds, at which point the original field of twenty-one had been whittled down to six. When Ryan stumbled on the word “mahatma”, Mira was left as the sole representative of the North End, trying to duplicate the feat of winning the city’s title that was accomplished twice before by Nazzaro alumni Ross Garrity. And it nearly happened as Mira became one of the final two participants after the 14th round. As she and eventual winner Farah Haniff flawlessly spelled words such as “mnemonic”, “Eocene”, and “fusillade”, Mira finally blinked in the 27th round and faltered on the word “douane” (go to the head of the class if you know what it means).

Mira Yu spells for the judges while Farah Haniff (eventual winner) waits her turn.

This was Mira’s second attempt at going to Washington D.C. (Ryan’s first) and probably not their last. Both can usually be seen with their heads in a book and are at the top of their class at their respective schools. In fact, just days before the competition, Mira received exciting news that she had been accepted into Boston Latin School with the third highest score in the city (Ryan is a shoo-in to pass the test next year)! The whole Nazzaro community is proud of both these scholars and we are already making plans for next March to be there when one of you wins the trip to Washington!

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