News Briefs from Rockton & Roscoe: 2/22/2022


When Ananya heard that her big sister Avani Joshi was going to the National Spelling Bee Finals, she ran upstairs and gave her a hug on national TV. Photo: ESPN, June 27, 2021

Avani Joshi, Roscoe's spelling bee champ, tied for 7th place at last year's National Spelling Bee. What's keeping her busy now: her first year at Hononegah Community High School. Her father says she's taking mostly honors courses, including AP World History. On weekends Avani runs her spelling bee club, “The Word Nerd Club,” with 20 students from around the country. Many hopefuls in the National Spelling Bee seek out such coaching. Part of the money Avani earns from that club goes to local organizations such as the Roscoe PTO, Winnebago County Animal Services and Miss Carly’s. Not long ago, she enjoyed being invited her back to Roscoe Middle School by her former teacher Mrs. Gugliuzza to help with the school spelling bee there, which she had won three times herself.

The Lady Indians of Hononegah Community High School take on South Elgin in the DeKalb Girls Basketball Sectional Semifinal Tuesday night, Feb. 22 at 6:00 pm. Tickets are available through GoFan, but no cash sales at the door. Visit for more information. 

The Hononegah boys varsity basketball team are playing in their regional semi-final against Guilford at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at Jefferson High School. The winner will play a championship game on Friday, also at Jefferson, against the winner of Saturday's game between Harlem and Jefferson.

The Jesse White Secretary of State Roscoe Express Facility is open once again. Operating hours are Wednesday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The facility is located at the Roscoe Village Hall.

The Kinnikinnick school board meeting should be calmer this week, now that masks are optional. At Tuesday night's meeting, administrators will report January 2022 payroll deductible expenses and ACH wires in the amount of $430,558.82, and January 2022 payroll in the amount of $695,129.87. The board is also expected to approve an insurance broker and a temporary custodial contract with Bergstrom Cleaning Services. The board will also discuss class size projections and future staffing needs. The public is always invited.

Three Roscoe students were honored on the Lewis University Dean's List for the 2021 Fall Semester. Carrie Anderson is studying Biology. Victoria Hagg is studying Psychology. Peyton Sullivan  is studying Special/Elementary Education. With 6,200 students, Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois calls itself an "innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university" with more than 80 undergraduate majors, 22 graduate programs, and accelerated programs for working adults.

As the Hononegah boys swim team took 2nd place at the IHSA Sectional meet at Byron on Saturday, several teams and individuals qualified for the state meet this Friday and Saturday at FMC Natatorium at Ty Warner Park in Westmont. Michael Long won the diving competition and Brayden Foss took 2nd place in diving. In the boys 200 medley relay, Hononegah won by two tenths of a second, sending the team of Owen West, Vito Skominas, Cale Miles, and Davis Cass to state. Owen West also qualified individually for state by winning the 100 Backstroke, breaking the sophomore school record by 2 seconds. In the 100 freestyle, Jack Kitzman also qualified for the state meet - his time of 47.41 was the second fastest in school history. At the last moment, the 400 relay team of Miles, Cass, West and Kitzman passed Dekalb and won by 3 hundredths of a second.  Their time smashed the sectional meet record by over a second and set a new Hononegah school record as well. Other outstanding time drops and performances came from Dylan Beilfuss in the 200m freestyle, Logan Johnson in the 500m freestyle, Hayden Blankenship in the 100m freestyle, Joe Lengjak in the 100m butterfly and Vito Skominas taking half a second off the sophomore team record in the 100m breaststroke.

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