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Boston’s Best Spellers Celebrated at 16th Annual Citywide Spelling Bee

Family members, teachers, and friends were on hand today to support 23 Boston youth from across the City competing in Boston’s 16th annual BCYF Citywide Spelling Bee. Organized by Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), the City of Boston’s largest youth and human service agency, and sponsored by the Boston Bruins Foundation, the winner, Tanoshi Inomata, age 11 from Allston, now goes on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. in May.  

 “I am so proud of all of our students today who showcased the many bright minds and talents of our City’s young people,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Congratulations to Tanoshi for your hard work and all of Boston will be cheering for you in Washington D.C.”

Over 3,000 young people participated in Boston public and parochial school Bees to qualify for the BCYF Citywide Bee. The preparation for the school Bees helps young people improve their spelling, broaden their vocabulary and build self-confidence. 

 “We are very proud of all our spellers today and so thankful to the Boston Bruins Foundation’s continuing partnership to bring this exciting opportunity to our city’s youth,” said Marta Rivera, Commissioner of BCYF. “And, special thanks to our panel of judges–Chief Chu, Sebastian Stockman and Dave Silk–who volunteered their time to support us today. We will be cheering on Tanoshi when he/she represents Boston at the National Bee.”

Commissioner Rivera opened the speaking program and welcomed the spellers and their families. All spellers were given participation medals. The Bee was held in Rabb Hall at the Boston Public Library’s Copley Branch. Judges were Tiffany Chu, Chief of Staff to Mayor Michelle Wu; Sebastian Stockman, Professor of English, Northeastern University; and Dave Silk, Boston Bruins alum,1980 US Olympic gold medalist and Boston Bruins Foundation Member.

 Tanoshi Inomata, the winner of this year’s Bee for the second year in a row, won by spelling "cornea” correctly.  The second place finisher was Sapna Malhotra, age 12, from Boston and coming in third was Morgan Bocchicchio Chaudhri, age 12 from Dorchester. The Bee went 13 rounds and one final and one championship round.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running spelling bee. This year’s Boston winner will now advance to compete in the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee.  The one and only national winner from Massachusetts was in 1939. In addition to the opportunity to advance to the National Bee, the BCYF Spelling Bee winner received the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, a 2024 U.S Mint Proof Set donated by Mr.Jay Sugarmann in honor of his father, a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online, a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online Premium, a one year subscription to the virtual library Epic Family and a trophy. Second place and third place finishers received a $125 Amazon Amazon Gift Card and trophies.  

 Participating Spellers:

#

School

Speller Name

Grade

Age

Neighborhood

1

Boston College High School

Mark Bryant 

7th

12

Quincy

2

Boston Latin School

Brian Xu 

8th 

14

Roxbury

3

Boston Preparatory Charter School

Morgan G. Bocchicchio Chaudri

7th 

12

Dorchester

4

Brooke Charter School, East Boston

Alexandra Amaya

7th

12

Chelsea

5

Brooke Charter School, Mattapan

Chosen Oleribe

8th

12

Mattapan

6

Brooke Charter School, Roslindale

Nahom Zekariyas

5th

11

Roslindale 

7

Curtis Guild Elementary

Mia Rojas Cervantes

5th

11

East Boston 

8

Edison K-8

Dylan Kit

6th

11

Brighton 

9

Eliot Innovation Upper School

Sapna Malhotra

7th

12

West End

10

Harvard Kent Elementary School

Delilah Quispe

6th

12

East Boston 

11

Henry Grew School

Meleni Diaz

6th

11

East Boston 

12

Kipp Academy, Boston

Isis (Sage) Daniels

8th

13

Chinatown

13

Lyndon Elementary School

Maeve Rebelo

5th

11

West Roxbury

14

Manning Elementary School

Augustin Derr

6th

11

Jamaica Plain

15

Mother Caroline Academy

Faith Mogoli

8th

13

Dorchester

16

Murphy K-8 School

Jason Nguyen

7th

13

Dorchester 

17

Samuel Adams Elementary

Winston Zhou

5th

11

East Boston 

18

South Boston Catholic Academy

Mason Finn

6th

12

South Boston

19

St. John Academy

Alyssa DePasquale

8th

13

Somerville

20

Sumner Elementary

Rory Smallwood

5

11

Roslindale

21

Warren Prescott

Max Ehrenpreis

5

11

Charlestown

22

William H. Ohrenberger

Jah Vai Massie

5th

11

West Roxbury

23

Winship Elementary School

Tanoshi Inomata

5th

11

Allston

Winning words from the previous years of the Bee:

Year

Winning Word

2008

Lariat

2009

Scenario

2010

Ravioli

2011

Toboggan

2012

Myriad

2013

Schnauzer

2014

Contiguous

2015

Schottische

2016

Diurnal

2017

Cacophony

2018

Crescendo

2019

Huckabee

2021

Glissando

2022

Après

2023

Ancho

2024

Cornea

Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is the City of Boston’s largest youth and human service agency. BCYF operates community centers in Boston that offer a variety of engaging and enriching programs for people of all ages created through community input and need. BCYF also oversees many citywide programs.