16th Annual Spelling Bee Crowns a Champion

It wasn’t automatic after all. Because for Mason Strausser, it was M-A-N-U-A-L.

“Manual” was the word the seventh-grader spelled correctly to clinch the 16th Annual Spelling Bee on Thursday night.

Strausser emerged the victor from a field of 33 entrants at Ruben A. Cirillo High School and calmly traded two or three final rounds with fourth-grader Clark Edlund, who finished in second place, to win the 2024 title. Seventh-grader Ali Humza finished third and Strausser and Edlund advance to the regional round of the Bee, which will take place on Saturday, March 23, at the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES facility in Newark. 

It’s the second time in three years that Strausser advanced to the regional round.

Congratulations to all the contestants in this year’s Spelling Bee. It’s not easy to get on stage and spell words orally in front of an audience, but each of the students on Thursday night is part of what makes us #GanandaProud!