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Fridley Public Schools
Jackson Gilbert, winner of spelling bee.

Cellulose. C-E-L-L-U-L-O-S-E. Cellulose.

This was the winning word, spelled by 8th grade student Jackson Gilbert at Fridley Middle School’s schoolwide spelling bee on January 24. FMS participated this year in the Scripps National Spelling Bee education program that offers students a variety of tools to widen their vocabulary through the study of words.

“Students received grade-level word lists to study, practice, and prepare for a classroom spelling bee,” explained literacy coach and 8th grade language and literature teacher, Laneé Purdy Ellingson. “Each grade had either a classroom or grade-level spelling bee to qualify for the schoolwide spelling bee.” In total around 30 FMS students participated in the spelling bee.

Proud parents and families gathered to watch the spelling bee in the middle school band room, while FMS students were able to watch in their classrooms from a livestream. The contestants spelled their words to two judges, Zack Bobick, the 8th grade dean of students, and Terrell Nyangai, a Fridley alum and current FMS support staff. If they spelled their word correctly, students moved on to the next round; if they were incorrect, they were encouraged to sit in the audience to support their fellow students. After a few rounds, only three students remained: Neil Clariza (grade 5), Marley Gilbert (grade 6) and Jackson Gilbert (grade 8). Jackson was the only student who spelled his word correctly making him the winner.

“The Scripps National Spelling Bee education program has been in schools since 1925,” said Purdy Ellingson. “Fridley Middle School is participating for the first time in 15 years and is excited to send a participant to the regional spelling bee in March.”

Jackson will go on to compete in the Twin Cities Regional Spelling Bee, which Fridley Public Schools is hosting in March.

Congratulations to all spelling bee participants!

5th Grade
Adin Secic
Naya Acosta
Neil Clariza
Olivia Smith-Vickers
Liberty Delaney
Asaunaye Chum
Roland Kattleman
Jasiah M. Ogundipe
Joseph Michael
6th Grade
Bettysue Berry
Fetya Said
Grace Bundy
Faiza Ibrahim
Marley Gilbert
Aaron Roy
Brennan Shell
7th Grade
Jonah Anderson
Emerson Hart
Hanifa Ahmed
Yaatuu Tesfa
Eunice Sibo
Kayla Whetston

8th Grade
Imran Kassim
Leah Martin
Jack Prewedo
Danielle Roberts
Jackson Gilbert
Emily Yang
Ishwaaq Mohamud