The Bee Logo

Students from 39 Franklin and Warren County schools will compete in the fourth annual regional spelling bee Saturday, March 22, in the John Edson Anglin Performing Arts Center at East Central College in Union.

“The Bee,” begins at 9 a.m. The event is organized by The Missourian, and sponsored by hth companies.

Dawn Kitchell, director of educational services for The Missourian, said that because of snow and bad weather, this year proved to be difficult for schools to host their spelling bees. She lauded them for making The Bee a priority.

“The schools are so committed to letting students represent them,” Kitchell said. “It really is a testament to how much the school districts and the communities value literacy and education.”

Dr. Jon Bauer, East Central College president, will serve as the pronouncer.

Students in grades four through eight who won their schools’ spelling bees are eligible to compete.

To help students prepare for both their school spelling bees and The Missourian’s regional competition, the newspaper published a “Study Guide to The Bee” in January. The resource still may be accessed at on the Newspaper In Education page.

All school champions who compete in The Bee will receive a T-shirt. Finalists will receive medals.

The Bee champion and runner-up will receive a cash prize and a trophy.

A steering committee of local educators works with The Missourian’s Dawn Kitchell to organize and execute The Bee: Dot Schowe, ECC’s public relations director; Jennifer Baker and Terri Ogle, Washington School District; Eric Lause and Jennifer Hawkins, St. Clair School District; and Patricia Kellmann, a retired teacher from the Union School District.

Judges will be Sue Henderson, ECC English instructor; Leigh Kolb, ECC English and journalism instructor; and Shannon Grus, ECC Foundation director.

“We are excited to be a part of this competition which gets better each year,” said Bill Miller Jr., Missourian general manager. “The students put a lot of time into preparing for The Bee and we are always impressed with how poised they are on stage.”

Miller encourages people to come out to support the competitors.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch these students compete,” he said.

Family, teachers, friends and the general public are invited to watch The Bee.

A full-page salute to the school champions who will compete in The Bee March 22 can be found in this issue of The Missourian.