8th Grader From Union City’s St. Francis Academy Wins Knights of Columbus State Spelling Bee

Photos Courtesy of St. Francis Academy

The Spelling Bee competition saw participation from three other public and private school students from within the Archdiocese of Newark’s four counties — Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union — as well as seven teens from schools in the Camden and Metuchen dioceses. Kalupahana previously earned her spot in the state finals after placing in the top four of the archdiocesan spelling bee, which was held at Immaculate Conception Church in Secaucus this March.    The bee was a grueling test of participants’ spelling acumen, with words ranging from the commonly used to the most obscure.

Rose received a commemorative plaque for winning the championship, saying, “It feels great to be the Knights of Columbus state champion speller.  My mindset was to win, and I went home with a great title and award, and I thank God for this. I have won thanks to my family, my school — St. Francis Academy — my friends, and most importantly, God.”

The St. Francis Academy community also congratulated Rose on her impressive win, with many students and faculty members taking to social media to express their pride and admiration.

Public and private school eighth graders within the Archdiocese have been participating in Knights of Columbus spelling bees since 2005, first competing at the school level before advancing to the archdiocesan and state rounds. Besides Rose, this year’s archdiocesan state finalists were Edbert Aquino of the Academy of Our Lady of Grace in Fairview, Jayden Papasavas of Corpus Christi School in Hasbrouck Heights, and Ian Soto of Veteran’s Middle School in North Arlington.

With her impressive showing in the Spelling Bee competition, Rose has proved that hard work, dedication, and a love for words can lead to great success.