By Dave Ongie, News Editor
When the going got tough in last week’s Johnson City Schools Spelling Bee, Liberty Bell eighth-grader Bianca Cielo got by with a little help from her friends.
In the weeks leading up to the annual citywide spelling bee, which is sponsored each year by the Rotary Club of Johnson City, Cielo and her friends spent much of their time at recess quizzing each other on words that may show up in the annual competition. All that practice helped Cielo secure victory over Mountain View’s Cara Haynes and South Side’s Alexis Bayard, who tied for the runner-up honors.
“I guess it was practicing with my friends,” said Cielo, who also credited her love of reading and study of the etymology of words for helping her succeed in the event. “German was really hard because of the clusters of consonants, and so I thought I’d prepare for that for this one.”
Haynes and Bayard joined Cielo in the final three, but they both went out in the same round, which created a rare tie for second place. Haynes, Bayard and Cielo were joined in the event by Adrianna Temple of Cherokee, Cole Watson of Fairmont, Camden Day of Lake Ridge, Yhania Robertson of North Side, Dikshaa Bhonde of Towne Acres, Emma Clark of Woodland and Rochelle Eloisil of Indian Trail.