Sophia Amchentsev, a seventh-grade student who attends Valley Central Middle School, became the first winner from her district since 2009 at the annual Orange County Spelling Bee held at Orange-Ulster BOCES on March 10.
The event is organized each year by Library Services at Orange-Ulster BOCES and co-sponsored by the Times Herald-Record, the Orange County School Boards Association and the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.
As a result of her win, Sophia will compete on the national level at the Scripps National Spelling Bee to be held in the Washington, D.C. area from May 24 through May 29. She will also receive subscriptions to Britannica OnLine and Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Eighth-grade student William Mackin III from Port Jervis Middle School was runner up, and the third-place winner was Jacob Ciriello, a seventh-grader, who attends Monroe-Woodbury Middle School.
The three finalists were presented with plaques. Both second and third-place winners received Barnes and Noble gift cards. Each bee participant received a ribbon and certificate.