Spelling Bee to be held Saturday night

Published 6:23 pm Friday, November 2, 2007

The inaugural Superintendent’s Spelling Bee Cup is at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Picayune High School gymnasium.

Chief Mark Thorman of the Picayune Navy JROTC said in a phone interview earlier this week that this year’s spelling bee will be for 24 6th graders from the four elementary schools in the Picayune Municipal Separate School District. The top six 6th grade spellers from each school, which were chosen in preliminary spelling bees, will compete Saturday for top honors.

Thorman said the event is nationally accredited by the SCRIPTS program, and in the future could lead to students advancing to the national finals, which are televised on ESPN.

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“We think we have quality kids that can get to regionals and nationals, but right now we’re just trying to generate interest in the spelling bee program,” Thorman said. “Our goal is to eventually include higher grades and go to the national competition, which is on ESPN.”

Thorman said the idea for the spelling bee came from a senior community service project for NJROTC Cadet Mollie Thrasher, who will serve as the host for Saturday’s event.

“Mollie wanted to do her part to inspire advancement in the community,” Thorman said.

Thorman said the students will take turns spelling words from lists provided by SCRIPTS. Awards will be given for the top four spellers. Students will have approximately 15 seconds per turn and must say the word, spell it, and say the word again.

“The winner will be the last one standing. We will recognize first through fourth place. Also, the winning school will receive the Superintendent’s Spelling Bee Cup, which is a trophy that stands about five feet tall. The cup will stay at the winning school until the next bee, when it will transfer to the new winner,” Thorman said.

Thorman said small grant checks also will be given to students, and a grant check will be given to the winning school.

Admission to the event is $1 for adults. Admission for students is free. For more information, call Thorman at 601-590-2149.