The Olin College Phoenixes Win the Bee and Elementary Round Ends in a Tie!

This past Sunday, the Needham community came together to test their spelling prowess at the 27th Annual NEF Spelling Bee. Nearly 40 teams participated, including elementary, middle and high school students, teachers, parents, members of Needham community organizations, and local business people.

The afternoon kicked off with Kathy Curran, member of WCVB’s 5 Investigates, helping the middle school Treble Choir film a Wake-Up Call for Channel 5’s EyeOpener (watch the video, here). The choir then performed the National Anthem beautifully to kick off the Bee. Throughout the ensuing five rounds of spelling, celebrity pronouncers Kathy Curran, Superintendent Dan Gutekanst, and Last Minute Productions partner Gary Gillis kept the event lively and fun. 

Four teams advanced to the championship round – Broadmeadow PTC’s Bees in the Meadow, the Olin College Phoenixes, the Pollard Faculty’s Busy Bees and the Needham School Committee. The team from Olin College–Joe Hunter, Elizabeth Cantrell and Lisa Downey–won it in the end, correctly spelling “gymkhana” (a horseback-riding meet featuring games and novelty contests).

The elementary round, featuring the winning Bee teams from each elementary school, was a nail biter. Dr. Gutekanst pronounced over 30 words in an attempt to stump the 5th graders. After running out of words, a tie was declared between the Hillside Hornets and Mitchell Superior Spellers after properly spelling “gargantuan.”

See coverage of the Bee on the Needham Channel.