SageEighth-grader Sage Basri of Rumson spelled the word “anathema” correctly to claim victory in the Forrestdale School Spelling Bee.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Sage Basri, an eighth-grader at Forrestdale School in Rumson, has been announced as the winner of the annual School Spelling Bee. The 13 year old daughter of Nancy and Bill Basri will move on to the Regional Spelldown competition, to be held March 16 and 17 at Monmouth University in West Long Branch.

The Spelling Bee took place in the school’s gymnasium on Friday, January 30, with students and teachers as well as the families of participants in attendance. Approximately 30 students in fourth through eighth grade were selected to take part in the Spelling Bee, based on the results of grade-level competitions held prior to the school-wide event.

Sage attained victory with the correct spelling of the championship word “anathema.” The second place winner, sixth-grader Michael Benedetto, was the only other student to enter the final round with Sage, by correctly spelling the word “exonerate”.

Next month’s Spelldown Competition features spelling champions aged eight through fourteen from Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex Counties. The winner will go on to represent the region in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, to be held this spring in Washington, D.C.

The Forrestdale School Spelling Bee featured Technology Teacher Mark Panas as Spelling Bee Coordinator and Master of Ceremonies, and Fifth Grade Teacher Aimee Humbert as “Wordsmith” or word-caller. Judges were eighth grade Social Studies Teacher Michele Devoy, eighth grade English Language Arts Teacher Caroline DeWyngaert, and seventh grade English Language Arts Teacher and Curriculum Specialist Kristen Feyereisen.