Spelling Bee

Students from 39 area schools will compete in The Bee, a regional spelling competition organized by The Missourian, Saturday, April 20, at East Central College in Union.

Schools have been preparing since September to select their school champion who will compete in this third regional spelling bee. Students in grades 4 through 8 were eligible to advance to The Bee, where they’ll have the chance to win medals and trophies.

To help students prepare for both their school spelling bees and The Missourian’s regional competition, the newspaper published a 12-page “Study Guide to The Bee” in January. The resource still may be accessed on The Missourian’s Newspaper In Education pages at www.emissourian.com.

Hth Companies Inc. is the sponsor for this year’s Bee. ECC will host the April 20 competition in the John Edson Anglin Performing Arts Center and ECC’s English Department will judge the event. Sue Henderson, ECC faculty member, will serve as the pronouncer.

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

Students were provided a word list in the study guide to prepare for The Bee, and the competition words will come from that list — at least to a point.

According to the official rules, if the judges are unable to determine a regional Bee champion through the word list provided to the schools, they’ll pull out a “secret list” of words to use.

A full-page salute to the school champions who will compete in The Bee April 20 is published in this weekend’s issue of The Missourian.

Family, teachers, friends and the general public are invited to watch The Bee, which begins at 9 a.m.