More than 75 students put their skills to the test Tuesday in Erie's citywide spelling bee.

Three groups competed - grades 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8 - from five different schools, including Erie Rise, Mother Theresa, Montessori Regional, Robert Benjamin Wiley Charter School and the Discovery Center.

The students faced off at the Boys and Girls Club on E. Lake Rd.

"Erie does lack a local sponsor, so this was something that our principal Veronica Will put together with some local schools to give our kids just a chance to do something beyond their school and make connections with other schools in the community," said Dianntha Myers, 7th and 8th grade reading teacher at Erie Rise. "We're hoping maybe next year we can get a local sponsor. That way, we can send kids to the National Spelling Nee in Washington, D.C."

Xavier Acostam, who attends Robert Benjamin Wiley Charter School, won the third and fourth grade division by spelling the word "infested." He celebrated his win with a victory hug in the stands.

Spelling bee results

  • 3rd & 4th Grade
    • 3rd Place - Shaziya Barnes of Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School
    • 2nd Place - Malcolm Zeller of Montessori Regional Charter School
    • 1st Place - Xavier Acosta of Robert Benjamin Wiley Charter School
  • 5th & 6th Grade
    • 3rd Place - Mira Lavery of Montessori Regional Charter School
    • 2nd Place - Sean Schweitzer of Robert Benjamin Wiley Charter School
    • 1st Place - Aliya Loveranes of Montessori Regional Charter School
  • 7th & 8th Grade
    • 3rd Place - Te'Vionne Cheseborough of Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School
    • 2nd Place - Nadia Jones of Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School
    • 1st Place  - Eva Castillo of Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School