McClure 7th Grader Wins Spelling Bee on Home Turf

Alia Abiad placed first in the Thursday regional competition held at McClure; she advances to the next level, also held at the school, on Feb. 21.

Quickly: your word is “prevaricate.” (Means “to act evasive.”) Don’t look at it again. Can you spell it?

McClure 7th-grader Alia Abiad can, and doing so left her as the last competitor standing at Thursday’s bee competition at her home school, beating out 16 other school champions (including St. Francis Xavier’s Eleanor Tung-Hahn.)

Abiad got her chance when second-place finisher Audrey Santora, a 6th-grader from North Riverside’s Komarek School, missed on “Bethesda.” The Western Springs student never missed a word for the entire bee, and she advances to the Cook County finals in two weeks.

“She’s got a good a chance as anybody,” said McClure principal Dan Chick. “She’s a very, very intelligent young woman, and I know she’s been working very hard. We couldn’t be more proud of her, regardless of whether or not she goes on. But she’s got a very good shot.”

Santora will also advance, along with fifth-grader Markus Becton of McKinley Elementary in Cicero and seventh-grader Matthew Zietzen of Roosevelt Middle School in Bellwood, who tied for third.

The Cook finals will be held at McClure on Feb. 21, and the winner goes to the nationally televised Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

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