Eliza Duimstra of New Hope Christian School won the 53rd annual Neenah city-wide fifth grade spelling bee, outlasting 14 other competitors on May 6 at the Boys and Girls Brigade.
Eliza’s winning word was “heather,” which came in the 25th round of spelling. She also correctly spelled “fortification,” which was the word that eliminated runner-up Ryan Feuerstahler of Trinity Lutheran School. Ryan had three previous chances to win after misspelled words by Eliza, including in the 15th round when he correctly spelled “fandangle,” but then missed on the championship word of “aromatic.”
Mandy McDonald of Taft Elementary and Sophia Michel of Spring Road Elementary both were eliminated in the ninth round. Josephine Duvall of Clayton Elementary was knocked out in the eighth round. The bee featured the champion from each of Neenah’s 11 public and four parochial schools.
Other competitors were Parker O’Rourke of Hoover Elementary, Waylon Miller of Horace Mann Middle School, Miya Gilman of Lakeview Elementary, Maddie Reagan of Wilson Elementary, Ari Pribbernow of Roosevelt Elementary, Ashton Egonut of Coolidge Elementary, Sam Plocher of Martin Luther School, William Sorenson of Alliance Charter Elementary, Justin Sina of Tullar Elementary and Davis Sickels of St. Margaret Mary School.
Runner-ups from each school’s contest served as alternates. They were Ellie Mertes of Alliance Charter Elementary, Emma Rollefson of Clayton Elementary, Ethan Fraser of Coolidge Elementary, Emily Jaen of Hoover Elementary, Josie Fisher of Horace Mann Middle School, Braden Vulgamore of Lakeview Elementary, Bethany Kroll of New Hope Christian School, Jasmine Brown of Roosevelt Elementary, Alex Aliota of Spring Road Elementary, Jacob Ostrom of St. Margaret Mary School, Katelynn Loveless of Taft Elementary, Kendra Pagel of Trinity Lutheran, Gabrielle Hackbarth of Tullar Elementary and Elizabeth Haanen of Wilson Elementary.