Spelling Bee Success for Spellers and Education Grants

March 6, 2016

IPEIBee2016WegmansICSDCongratulations to the IthacaSTEM Hexaplexes for winning the 18th Annual IPEI Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday, March 6 at the Ithaca High School Wellness Center Gym. Team members, Karen Trible, Suzanne Nussbaum, and Mark Chao won without a single misspell! Words they spelled correctly when other teams could not included idiosyncrasy, diphtheria, boutonniere, xerosis, zaibatsu, desiccant, and oeuvre.

Nussbaum remarked as they were presented with the Fuzzy Bee Trophy: “It was a lot of fun. I wish I had participated in past years, too.” Trible explained that they did not have a study method that lead to their success, yet between them they know Latin, French and Greek. Chao said, “I am impressed with the amount of good will and spirit on display today with so many community members volunteering, making sponsorship donations, and cheering us on.”

We Spell Krazy Good from WSKG, the Fine Arts Word Boosters, and Spellicans were the other teams that advanced from the four preliminary rounds to the championships.

Ithaca Journal coverage: http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/local/2016/03/08/hexaplexes-conquer-ithacas-adult-spelling-bee/81473818/

Lansing Star coverage: http://www.lansingstar.com/around-town/12466-spelling-bee-success-for-spellers-and-education-grants

Tompkins Weekly coverage: http://tompkinsweekly.com/news/2016/03/13/hexaplexes-triumph-adult-spelling-bee/

Ithaca College students created online features:


IthacaSTEM Hexaplexes Win 18th IPEI Spelling Bee

ICSD website highlights the Bee:


According to Spelling Bee Committee Chair Jennifer Biloski, this year’s event was the largest ever in support of IPEI’s grants programs with over 300 in attendance. “When the Bee concluded, all revenue had not yet been counted, but we appear to be very close to our $30,000 goal. It was our first Bee with 32 teams so we had 96 spellers! With eight teams competing in each round of spelling, we needed eight judges working with the host, word pronouncer and timekeeper.”

IPEI’s Executive Director Christine Sanchirico opened the Bee expressing appreciation to the spellers, event sponsors, team sponsors, refreshment donors, program advertisers, silent auction contributors, quilt creators and ticket buyers, and volunteers from the IPEI Board and from the community. She introduced Mayor Svante Myrick who welcomed the spectators and spellers, and thanking everyone involved with public education because of its critical importance for the individual students and for the community’s future.

Sanchirico also welcomed Jean McPheeters, host; Geoff Dunn, word pronouncer; and Deborah O’Connor, time-keeper. McPheeters and Dunn acknowledged the eight judges (Ralph Jones, Paulette Manos, Deborah Lynn, Deborah Mohlenhoff, Jerry Dietz, Vicki Brous, Matt Braun and Sanchirico) and honorary bee-keepers for each round (Myrick, Mike Wayne, Joel Malina, and the Little Red Bear).

Calf Audio, Westhill Graphics, Remembox, WRED and Auburn Party Rental provided key event support. The Spelling Bee Committee’s work was shared with volunteers from Alphi Phi Omega service fraternity, Code Red Robotics, Ithaca High’s Key Club, and DeWitt Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society. This year’s bee fairies were Charlotte Hay and Anna Danks Burke.

Thanks to the event sponsors, all proceeds go directly toward funding Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) grants. The Blue Ribbon Champion Sponsor was Chemung Canal Trust Company, and the Red Ribbon Finalist Sponsor was Wells Fargo Financial Advisors. Sciarabba Walker and Cayuga Radio Group are Gold Ribbon Sponsors.

“IPEI’s grants programs help Ithaca City School District teachers engage students and enhance education, sparking student learning by connecting the schools with our diverse and talented community,” according to Sanchirico.

WRED, Ithaca High’s digital media lab, recorded the Bee for future viewing on YouTube at this link: http://tinyurl.com/ipeibee2016
IPEI Spelling Bee Teams:

Bee Compassionate
Belle Spellers
Board of Ed Buzz
Bunco Bees
Caroline BEEtniks
Code Red Robo-Bees
CU Laters
Family Buzzers
Fine Arts “Word” Boosters
Highway to Spell
ITA Spellerz
IthacaSTEM Hexaplexes
Ithaca Wegmans
Les Cafards
Lexicon Artistts
Notorious RPG
Off the “Wahl” Spellers
PTA Cavalry
The Spellicans
The Unpossibles
Walker Bees
The Warren Wordsmiths
We Spell Krazy Good
Westhill <Ortho>Graphics

Team Sponsors:

Anchor Capital Management
Belle Sherman Elementary PTA
CFCU Community Credit Union
C.S.P. Management
Carol Bushberg Real Estate
Caroline Elementary PTA
Cayuga Radio Group
Chemung Canal Trust Company
Bob and Elle Conti
Cornell Office of Community Relations
Family & Children’s Service
Harris Beach PLLC
Hunt Engineers, Architects, & Land Surveyors
Ithaca Bakery
Ithaca Council of PTAs
Ithaca High School PTA
Kelviden Equestrian Farm
Les Cafards
Sciarabba Walker & Co, LLP
The Spellicans
Tompkins Insurance Agencies
Tompkins Trust Company
Trane U.S., Inc.
Travis Hyde Properties
True Insurance
UPS Store of Ithaca
Wahl Educational Consultants, Inc
Warren Real Estate
Wells Fargo Advisors
Westhill Graphics

Today’s Bee Opens at 2:00 p.m. Live and OnlineSanchirico Plans to Step Down as IPEI Executive Director