Mei Rao and Ryan Murphy celebrate their trophy with Mrs. D'Aleo.Mei Rao and Ryan Murphy celebrate their trophy with Mrs. D'Aleo.Sophomores, Mei Rao and Ryan Murphy, tenth-grade students on the OLL “Bohemian Rhapsobee” team correctly spelled every word in the preliminary rounds before advancing to the final elimination stage.

“To participate in an academic competition which raises awareness and funds for local literacy programs aligns perfectly with our mission here at Our Lady of Lourdes,” said OLL Principal Catherine Merryman. “Bringing home first prize makes the experience even sweeter. We’re proud of Mei, Ryan and all of the students who participated, and we feel blessed they are part of our school community.”

The spelling bee was held April 2 at Marist College in the Murray Center. In all, 26 OLL students competed in the bee, representing the largest showing from a single school. Participants in the event included other high schools, college students and adults. Gaby Murray and Jen Bellino, OLL team “Red Hot Chili Spellers,” also advanced to the final round, and each team earned a competitive score.

The OLL spelling team was led by English teacher Nikki D’Aleo, and student participants included: Michaela Maio, Moira Kennedy, Kayla Seegler, Hunter Schofield, Brianna Susco, Caroline Siegrist, Ryan Murphy, Mai Rao, Gaby Murray, Jennifer Bellino, Emma Hall, Laci Horton, Gavin Bottjer, Lia Keenan, Lexi Slagle, Matt Cruser, Maire Nickerson, Katie Meade, Tyler Beresford, Will Cho, Olivia McEntee, Sarah Loprinzo, Luke Recine, Leah Schank, Robert Polidoro and Matt Ong.