Spelling Bee Results

2020 Spelling Bee Cancelled

Given the Town of Needham Public Health and Superintendent’s announcements that all public events be cancelled, the NEF Spelling Bee this Sunday March 15th will not take place. While we are disappointed that we can’t all come together as a community for this fun and friendly competition, we are grateful for the tremendous amount of support from our sponsors and participants. The generosity of our community allows us to continue funding innovative programs in our Needham Public Schools.

2019 Spelling Bee

Congratulations to the Needham School Committee for taking the top prize at the 2019 Spelling Bee and to the Broadmeadow “Smaht Spellahs” for winning the elementary round!

On Sunday, March 10th the Needham community came together to test their spelling prowess at the 28th Annual NEF 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 Kathy Curran, member of WCVB’s 5 Investigates, helping students film a Wake-Up Call for Channel 5’s EyeOpener (watch the video, here). The NHS a cappella group Making Music Matter 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 David Wade, co-anchor of WBZ-TV News, kept the event lively and fun.

In the preliminary rounds, the Broadmeadow 5th grade students were the winners in the elementary school round, correctly spelling the word “knowledgeable.” The Broadmeadow and Hillside PTC teams battled for 18 words until Broadmeadow won on “querimonious.” The High Rock team (6th graders) out-dueled 7th grade, 8th grade, and high school teams with the word “gaufrette.” In the Championship round, the Needham School Committee took the big prize after correctly spelling “kakistocracy,” which means “government by the least suitable or competent citizens of a state.”

See coverage of the Bee on the Needham Channel.

2018 Spelling Bee

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.

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 Anthem beautifully 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!

2016 Spelling Bee

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

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

New Elementary Round Results in a Tie!

Fifty teams came together to compete on March 15th at the special Sunday edition of the 24th Annual Spelling Bee, including elementary, middle and high school students, teachers, parents and local business people. Due to some terrific spelling, the new elementary school round resulted in a tie between the Broadmeadow School and the Eliot School. The winning word was “ferocious.”

Congratulations to the 2015 Bee Champions:  High Rock/Pollard Teachers!

In the championship round, High Rock & Pollard teachers Caitlin Harding, Anna Kuebler, and Maryellen Shea came away as the victors after spelling “xerocolous,” which means thriving in a relatively dry environment.

See coverage of the Bee on the Needham Channel and in The Needham Times.

2014 Spelling Bee

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.”

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

Needham Times article
Needham Times Photo Gallery

2013 Spelling Bee

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.

2012 Spelling Bee

At Needham High School on April 4, 2012, the winning team, The Wordniks, made up of Lindsey Kiser, Liza Kobzik, and Lester Kobzik, beat the Needham Finance Committee in the final round with the Russian word “samizdat,” which means disseminating censored materials. The word was commonly used in former Soviet bloc countries to describe a dissident act against the government.

Read more in the Needham Times coverage.

2011 Spelling Bee

The champion team, the Wordniks, Les Kobzik, Christine Bezreh, and Lindsey Kiser celebrate victory at the 20th Annual Needham Education Foundation Spelling Bee Fundraiser, held at Newman Elementary School, April 7, 2011 with the word: f-l-a-g-i-t-i-o-u-s-l-y.

Read more in the coverage by The Needham Times.

Spelling Bee Results