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Gabe Goldman is This Year's Spelling Champ [VIDEO]

A large crowd filled the Nordstrom wing at the Northshore Mall Wednesday night to watch the top spellers at Higgins Middle School compete in the 3rd Annual Higgins Spelling Bee.

[Editor's Note: The article has been updated to reflect a correction on the judging panel for the bee.]

It took 24 rounds and just over two hours for this year's middle school spelling champ to emerge Wednesday night.

Sixth-grader Gabriel Goldman was rendered speechless upon realizing he not only spelled "serigraph" correctly, but he actually won the whole spelling bee as well.

Gabe rose from his seat to tackle the next word in the 25th round when Bee Master Todd Bucey, smiling, informed him he could actually sit that one out since he just won.

The 3rd Annual Higgins Middle School Spelling Bee, which is sponsored by the Peabody Education Foundation, was held once again at the Northshore Mall in the Nordstrom wing.

Joining Bucey as Bee Master again was Tom Gould while Jeri Terenzoni, Steve Shea, Dave Gravel and Sudi Smoller were the judges.

The team behind organizing the event with the mall was Smoller and Peggy Pedro.

Once the 23rd round arrived with just four contestants left, the bee entered "challenge" round status where more difficult spelling words were taken from past years' lists of Scripps National Spelling Bee words.

The students hadn't necessarily seen the words yet and weren't eliminated immediately upon offering the wrong answer as long as their peers missed their words as well. 

Grabbing 2nd and 3rd, respectively, were eighth-grader Stephen May and seventh-grader Andeemae Sims, while , was 4th.

Each of the 30 students that started off the bee Wednesday night provided a bit of insight into why they loved to spell. They'd also been preparing for months for their big night on the stage.

"What motivates me is the challenge of spelling and being able to learn new words," wrote Gabe.

For those curious what a serigraph is: "an original silk-screen color print," according to Merriam-Webster. 

David McGeney February 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Great video of Gabe's winning moment. Thank you John for the coverage. Congratulations to Gabe, Stephen, Andeemae and to all of the participants. Thank you too to The Peabody Education Foundation and everyone involved with putting on this Annual, must see, event.
mom February 28, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Its 2013 and there was not a female on the judging panel? There are 2 on the school committee. That is interesting.
John Castelluccio (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Mom, there were actually two women on the judges panel: Jeri Terenzoni and Sudi Smoller. My error before for not noting Sudi.
Lola February 28, 2013 at 05:17 PM
why are some people always looking for a negative slant? Is this the same woman who was ripping Maryellen apart on the south principal article? Hope your kids have better attitudes than you, the poor things. How does a spelling bee become negative????????
Lisa February 28, 2013 at 05:54 PM
How adorable, what a cute fella and only sixth grade too!

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