27th county spelling bee Feb. 24Published 10:19am Thursday, February 11, 2010
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
Lewis Cass Intermediate School District is sponsoring the 27th annual Cass County Spelling Bee for Dowagiac, Cassopolis, Edwardsbrug and Marcellus students grades 4-8.
The traditional event will be conducted on Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In the event of a snow day, the bee will take place Feb. 26.
The form consists of both team and individual spelling competitions.
In the morning, all 120 students compete on five-person, grade-level teams against the same grade levels from the other school districts.
A point system is in place for team spelling so misspelled words do not eliminate students from the activity.
First- through four-place ribbons are awarded to all teams after 10 rounds of spelling.
In the afternoon, students who spelled perfectly or only missed one word in the morning competition advance to the individual spelling contest.
If students misspell a word during the individual contest, they are eliminated from the bee.
The top three spellers who remain at the end of the competition all receive prizes for their success.
The top two spellers receive $50 savings bonds.
The top speller, the Cass County Spelling Bee champion, also receives a special trophy.
The two top fourth grade individual winners receive word games.
New this year is the Overall District Trophy that goes to the district showing the greatest overall spelling prowess.
Cass County Historical Commission donates prizes and monetary awards for this event.
Brian Wood, LCISD instructional services director, coordinates this year’s event.
The teachers steering committee includes Karen Holbury (Cassopolis), Heather Nash (Dowagiac), Penny Deats (Edwardsburg), Heather Merrill (parent rep, Marcellus) and Sue Stoddard, retired Marcellus teacher.
The 2010 pronouncers are Dan Smith, retired Dowagiac principal; Patti Brallier, Dowagiac assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction; and Lin Mallory, retired Dowagiac principal.
Scorekeepers and judges are Mike Frazier, Dowagiac principal; Linda Lorenz, former Dowagiac school board member; Christine Locke, Cassopolis school board president; Sue Hague, Cassopolis curriculum director; Johanna Timpson, Marcellus; and Bob Franz, retired Dowagiac principal.
The public is invited to attend the competition at Southwestern Michigan College.
This year’s event will take place in the Dale A. Lyons Building and in Mathews Conference Center.
Edwardsburg eighth grader Michaela Curtis, 13, carted away Cass County’s best speller trophy and a $50 savings bond last February at SMC.
Cassopolis fifth grader Alex Brown finished second, with 2007-2008 winner Victoria Pearson of Cassopolis, who exited in the sixth round, and fifth grader Tanner Gray of Edwardsburg tied for third.
Three Edwardsburg spellers tied for fourth.
Nash, Patrick Hamilton Elementary School principal, said Wednesday that Dowagiac’s elementary spelling bee is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the middle school Performing Arts Center, or Feb. 19 in the event of a snow day.
Fourth graders spell from 10 a.m. to noon.
Fifth graders spell from 1 to 3 p.m.
Announcers will be Superintendent Peg Stowers in the morning for fourth grade and former middle school teacher Steve Morrison in the afternoon for fifth grade.