Annual Spelling Bee generates a buzz for Dartmouth schools

Nov 15, 2019

Matching outfits, puns, and tricky words abounded at the Dartmouth Education Foundation’s annual Spelling Bee fundraiser on November 14, which took place in the Dartmouth High School auditorium.

28 teams of three Dartmouth community members competed in five rounds of intensive wordsmithing, with a final championship round.

UMass Dartmouth team ‘Wendy’s Foreign Language Lovers’ named for a colleague who passed away — took home the first prize trophy after correctly spelling ‘ichthyology’. 

The event raises funds for the Foundation’s education grants, which go to different projects proposed by Dartmouth Public Schools teachers and are awarded in the spring.

“We’re still tallying the results,” said Chair of the Foundation’s advisory council Lara Stone. “It went great!”

Runners-up included the Wanna Bees, who placed second, and the Bee Bee Qs, who placed third. 

New this year was the “Loudest Buzz” trophy, which was awarded to Dartmouth High as the school that brought the most audience members and spellers to the event.

Principal Ross Thibault accepted the trophy for his school.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm in the room in terms of fans cheering each other on,” noted Stone. “A lot of pride was present.”

The high school’s a cappella group, Harmonix, also performed during the event, and prizes were given to participants between rounds as well.

According to Stone, the most sought-after prize of the evening was tickets to a Celtics/Knicks game, which were ultimately won by a Dartmouth High freshman.

But Stone said the “real doozy” of the evening was a team of spellers from the school’s science department.

“They performed as part of their spelling a live experiment up on stage,” she said with a laugh. “It was amazing and funny and we thought that showed a lot of creativity.”

Judges included Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes, the town’s Director of Media Cyndi Marland, and news editor of the Standard-Times Jack Spillane.

Stone said that nearly 200 people turned out for the event.

“We don’t sell tickets because we want it to be very open to the community, and friendly, and have that not be a barrier,” she said. “Everyone is welcome...We want to raise more awareness for Dartmouth public schools and the good stuff that teachers are doing.”