The Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee, hosted by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, recently welcomed 4th-8th grade students from 180 schools in six counties to compete for a chance to move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
Lily Mears, from Grand Haven Public Schools, took the regional title and will receive a paid trip for two to D.C. to compete against regional finalists from across the nation. The competition will be aired live on ESPN May 27-28.
“I’ve always thought these students were very serious about spelling and have been surprised at just how exciting it can be to spell words out loud and compete with others,” said Kent ISD Superintendent Kevin Konarska during the event’s opening comments.
Kent ISD is the Bee’s primary sponsor, with additional support from MLive/The Grand Rapids Press, Founders Bank and Trust, Amway One-by-One, Family Fare, Kumon, Barnes & Noble, Tower Pinkster, the Secchia Family Foundation and the families of several former contestants.
“Every year, the Bee is more exciting and the students much more serious,” said Sister Rosemary Smith, who along with Esther Yff-Prins has worked with the Bee every year.
Cash card awards, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, and a subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online were among the awards for the 1st-22nd place contestants.