Spelling Bee Results

2017 Spelling Bee

Eliot wins the Elementary Round!

On Sunday, March 19, the Needham community came together to test their spelling prowess at the 26th Annual NEF Spelling Bee. Over 30 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. The choir then performed the National Anthembeautifully to kick off the Bee. Throughout the ensuing six rounds of spelling, celebrity pronouncers Kathy Curran, Superintendent Dan Gutekanst, and Last Minute Productions partner Gary Gillis kept the event lively and fun. 

There was some fierce competition in the Elementary round, which was led by Superintendent Dan Gutekanst. At one point, Dr. Gutekanst consulted with Bee co-chair, Sarah Mesnik, about the possibility of running out of words! The Eliot Queen Bees  Danielle Sockol, Talia Feeney and Taylor Chen ultimately secured the elementary-level trophy by correctly spelling “discrepancy”. The girls were so excited about their win, they opted to join in the Championship Round with winners of the other adult and older student rounds. The Queen Bees spelled several words correctly before they were knocked out of the competition!  Great job Queen Bees!

Library Bookies Take the Championship!

Joining the Queen Bees in the very challenging Championship Round were the Newman Pride teachers, the Needham School Committee, the Needham Finance Committee, and the Library Bookies from the Needham Public Library. Represented by Gay Ellen Dennett, Rose Doherty, and Janice Bowen, the Bookies were ultimately victorious when they correctly spelled the word “ranunculus,” which is a genus of plants including Buttercups. The Library Bookies are especially deserving of their bragging rights because they are long-time supporters of the NEF and the Bee, having competed at all 26 Bees!

It was a fun-filled afternoon in support of the NEF and our mission to make learning come alive. Hundreds of spectators cheered on the spellers, enjoyed snacks provided by Roche Bros, and purchased Treat cupcakes and raffle tickets for great prizes from area businesses. We are grateful for all of the support!

Check out the photo gallery of this signature event in the Needham Times!

A Repeat Victory at the 25th Annual NEF Spelling Bee!


2016 Bee Winners with Sarah&Felicia (3)2016 Bee Elem Winners with Dan (2)


On Sunday, March 13th, the Needham community came together to test their spelling prowess at the 25th annual Needham Education Foundation Spelling Bee.  Over 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 the return of the Elementary School Round. After some fierce competition, the Hillside Yellow Jackets, including Omri Sde-Or, Ariel Berk, and Larisa Badawi, won on the word “chauffeur.”


In the Championship Round, High Rock & Pollard Teachers Caitlin Harding, Anna Kuebler, and Maryellen Shea repeated last year’s victory after spelling “catarrh,” which means inflammation of a mucous membrane.  It was a fun-filled afternoon, with hundreds of spectators cheering on the spellers.  Attendees enjoyed answering trivia questions between rounds and competition was high for the great raffle prizes from area businesses. Celebrity pronouncers Superintendent Dan Gutekanst, WHDH-TV 7News reporter Kimberly Bookman, and Last Minute Productions partner Gary Gillis kept the event lively and fun.

Check out coverage of the event with photos in the Needham Times and in the Hometown Weekly.

2015 Spelling Bee

Thank you to everyone who attended our 24th Annual Spelling Bee.  Hundreds attended to cheer on the 50 teams that participated in this year’s Bee!
Congratulations to the winners of the Elementary Round (tied):  Broadmeadow School and Eliot School!

Elementary Champs

Pictured, left to right – Top Row:  Emma Fleck, Brendan Szeto, Steven Qie
Bottom Row:  Jackie Liebman, Lucy McHugh, Caroline Berney

Congratulations to the overall winners of the 2015 Bee:  High Rock/Pollard Teachers!

HR-Pollard Champs

Pictured, left to right:  Anna Kuebler, Gary Gillis (Bee Pronouncer), Caitlin Harding, Maryellen Shea

2014 Spelling Bee a Resounding Success!

On April 9th 40 teams came together for the 23rd annual NEF Spelling Bee. Teams included middle and high school students, teachers, parents and local business people, all gathering to test their spelling knowledge. Chyten Test Prep came away as the victors, the most difficult word: “triskaidekaphobia”, which means fear of the number 13. It was a fun-filled evening, with hundreds of spectators cheering on the spellers. As co-chair Denise Bruno said, “It’s a fun community event! It brings so many community members together.”

2014 Spelling Bee Co-Chairs

Denise Bruno and Andrea George, 2014 Spelling Bee Co-Chairs

2014 Spelling Bee Winners

The 2014 Spelling Bee Champs are Othographic Anthophilia (Chyten Test Pret)

Here are links to articles that appeared in the local papers:

Needham Times article
Needham Times Photo Gallery
Hometown Weekly Article

2013 Spelling Bee

2013 NEF Spelling Bee Winners

The Needham Board of Selectmen was the winning team of the 22nd annual NEF Spelling Bee. The team was made up of John Bulian, Dan Matthews and Lindsey Kiser. The winning word this year was “neossology,” which means the study of young birds.

The 2013 NEF Spelling Bee was a success! Our thanks to the many donors and participants of our annual fundraising event.

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