Blue Mountain eighth grader wins 67 Republican Herald Spelling Bee

Mar. 11—SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — A Blue Mountain Middle School East student became the 67th Republican Herald Spelling Bee champion in a competition held Saturday at the Penn State Schuylkill campus.

Tyler Kulikosky, 14, outspelled over 40 other students from 18 schools across the county to qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, held May 30-June 1 in the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland near the nation's capital.

He follows Andrew Smith, a student at Assumption BVM parochial school in Pottsville, who was the 2022 regional winner.

Kulikosky spelled "heterosis" correctly to nudge out runner-up Avery Zeroual, 14, of D.H.H. Lengel Middle School in Pottsville.

Mike Joyce, Republican Herald publisher, presented Kulikosky with the coveted spelling bee trophy.

"The spelling bee emphasizes the Republican Herald's dedication to education and its partnership with schools," Joyce said. "We love to see students succeed."

The son of Steven and Jennifer Kulikosky, of North Manheim Twp., Tyler immediately called his grandmother, Mary Kulikosky, who was unable to attend the event.

"Guess what, Nanny, I won," Tyler Kulikosky told his grandmother. "I got the trophy."

In addition to Zeroual, the other finalists were: Virginia Cryer, 10, Blue Mountain Elementary East; Gianna Donovan, 13, Shenandoah Valley Jr./Sr. High School; Fabrizio Manganiello, 13, North Schuylkill Jr./Sr. High; Jackson Fischetti, 11, Blue Mountain Middle School; and Gage Penkauski, 11, Pine Grove Area Middle School.

Dr. Charles R. Underwood, retired Pottsville Area educator, was the pronouncer for the bee.

Judging the event were Andy Heintzelman, Republican Herald managing editor; Stephen Roman, PSU Schuylkill instructor; and Devina Singh, the 2014 regional spelling bee champion.

Breanne Ferdoucha, who teaches English in Pottsville Area, was the official record keeper.

Jeanie Purcell, Republican Herald sales consultant, supervised registration. David McKeown, Republican Herald multimedia editor, made an audio recording of the event.

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