It is probably safe to say that Locust Valley Middle School eighth-grader James Sorbara is an ardent fan of spelling bees. After all, he did become the school’s spelling bee champion after correctly spelling the word “ardent.”

James had some tough competition, not just from the more than 50 students that participated in the bee, but especially from second-place winner and fellow eighth-grader John Accera. The two were battling it out for several rounds as each of them was required to correctly spell the word that the other student missed.

All of the participants exhibited excellent spelling skills and sportsmanship, and can feel proud for winning the first rounds of the competition in their individual classrooms.

Middle School teacher Barbara LaBella, the spelling bee’s moderator, said the event helps students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them throughout their lives.

James will now go on to compete in the next level of the spelling bee, which is a written round that will take place on February 4th at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County in Plainview. Success at that competition will place James in the Long Island Spelling Bee finals on March 11th.

Congratulations to James and all of the spelling bee participants, and good luck to James as the spelling bee continues!