Spelling Bee

How would you fare when asked to spell schadenfreude, waterzooi, ebullience,  novillero, and thaumaturge?  And do you know the meanings of constabulary, cachet, and prestidigitation? These are just a few of the 50 words that were presented to 200 plus elementary and middle school students on Jan. 27th during the Cherry Creek District Spelling Bee.

The idea for a Spelling Bee was born in 1925, when nine newspapers joined together to host the first formal bee. Now, 92 years later, The Scripps National Spelling Bee touches more than one million students nationally every year. 

It was a journey filled with excitement and emotion, learning and fun, highs and lows and growth and development for the Cherry Creek School District spellers.  To make it to this district challenge, each student had to first qualify through their individual school Spelling Bee. Each elementary school could send three contestants and one alternate, while middle schools were allowed four contestants and one alternate to the District Bee.  Forty-nine of the district's 53 schools participated.

The written and vocabulary portions of the spelling test were administered and from those 200 plus students, 29 spellers qualified for the oral segment of the Bee. The challenge was on! Each student approached the microphone and was asked to spell a given word. No mistakes were forgiven. A slip of the tongue and a student was disqualified. The tension and excitement were palpable.

The first level of elimination was narrowing the competitors down to the top 20 spellers. Each of those students received a qualifying trophy and will participate in the Scripps Colorado State Spelling Bee on March 11, 2017 held at the University of Denver. But the competition doesn't end there. Our twenty state finalists continued in a spell-off until only two spellers remained.

Back and forth, back and forth, each speller so close to the coveted top honor. The two finalists exchanged the lead multiple times.  Finally, needing to spell the word missed by their opponent AND another word correctly, our winner emerged.  Carly Philpott, from Campus Middle School, won the spot of first place with the words contemporaneous and collusion.  Padmini Prabhu, from Challenge, finished in second place.

It was a day in which the love of language was celebrated.  Many of the qualifiers have parents that speak languages other than English.  Broad backgrounds and preparation styles included countless hours dedicated to learning the idiosyncrasies of our English spelling rules. Great pride was felt by all who participated.

Cherry Creek District Spelling Bee Top 20 Finalists

Each of these students will advance to the Scripps State Spelling Bee

on March 11, 2017 at the University of Denver.


Front Row (L to R)Champion: Carly Philpott, Campus MS; Shreya Rajan, Aspen Crossing; Alicia Tan, Homestead; Taryn Midtbo, Fox Hollow; Abhinav Krishna, Belleview; Charlene Yee, Cherry Creek Academy; Third Place: Charlie Flaxbeard, Campus MS; Second Place:  Padmini Prabhu, Challenge

2nd Row (L to R):  Chiranth Vadayar, Thunder Ridge MS; Kenley Ellis, Greenwood; Lauren Campbell, Fox Hollow; Sara Hoerger, Campus MS; Kanshita Dam, Challenge; Yusuf Hanif, Challenge; Jackson English, Black Forest Hills; Chukwudi Nwobodo, Coyote Hills; Koushik Matli, Heritage; Ananya Talanki, Falcon Creek MS; Emma Jackson, Fox Ridge MS; Dohyun Kim, Fox Ridge MS











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Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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