Regional Spelling Bee Winner To Advance To National Competition
Published: February 8th, 2024

Regional Spelling Bee winner to advance to National Competition Nyarah Garver, Regional Spelling Bee Champion, is joined by the other spelling competitors following Saturday’s competition. (Photo from DCMO BOCES)

ONEONTA – The 22nd Annual Regional Spelling Bee was held on Saturday in the Goodrich Theater, SUNY Oneonta.

There were 26 students from 14 school districts that competed in this year’s regional event, having won earlier at their school’s local spelling bee.

Nyarah Garver, a 7th grade student in Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School, correctly spelled “disaffected” in the 10th round and was declared the winner of this year’s regional competition.

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The victory earns Nyarah the chance to travel to National Harbor, Maryland in late May to compete against more than 200 other spellers from around the country and the world at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. “Bee Week,” as it’s called, is a week-long experience for the students and their families that includes special events, educational workshops, excursions into Washington, D.C. and three days of nationally-televised spelling competition.

Mary Dugan, a former competitor in the spelling bee competitions, was the Master of Ceremonies for Saturday’s event. Dr. Catherine Huber, District Superintendent ONC BOCES, and Valerie Secor, General Manager of The Daily Star, gave remarks and presented the students with their awards.

Dr. Paul French was the pronouncer, carefully enunciating, defining and demonstrating usage of the word for each student. Judges were Julia Suarez Hayes and Frank Oliver, and Bob Avery served as Word Recorder.

Many teachers and families of the spellers attended the event at the Goodrich Theater, and it was also livestreamed by DCMO BOCES. Afterwards, students posed for pictures with each other and visited with their supporters.

According to Martha Ryan, DCMO BOCES Enrichment Coordinator and Regional Spelling Bee Coordinator, "The spelling bee is much more than just spelling words. These remarkable students improved their vocabulary and tested their public speaking skills.  Today we contributed to workforce development."

The regional spelling bee was sponsored by The Daily Star, along with ONC BOCES and DCMO BOCES.

Other local sponsors include Benson Agency Real Estate LLC, Community Bank, N.A., David M Dugan DDS, MD, PC, Huff Corporation, Matthews Auto Group, Inc., NBT Bank, N.A., Northern Safety & Industrial, Pacemaker Steel#and Piping Co., Inc. and WSKG.

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The students who participated in Saturday’s Regional Spelling Bee were Brady Barnes and Timothy Barnett from Afton Central School, Kaitlyn Krester from Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School, Zoletta Palmer and Nikka DeLa Cuesta from Cooperstown Central School, Brianna Riley and Kenley Dye from Edmeston Central School, Mason Kiser from Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School, Avyn Graham and Layla Bellinger from Gilboa-Conesville Central School, Mackenzie Hubbell and Naomi Delpratt from Margaretville Central School, Kendall Gould and Rowan Schoellig from Morris Central School, Nora Cooper and Mason Moharamali from Oneonta City Schools, Michaela Tucker and Aubrey Swartz from Roxbury Central School, Molly Snyder and Emily Snyder from Stamford Central School, Brianna BigBack and Brynn Moody from South Kortright Central School, Nyarah Garver and Krishna Dutt from Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School, and Noah Fyfe and Logan Gates from Worcester Central School.

For more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, visit For more information about DCMO BOCES, visit

– Information from DCMO BOCES