Get ready for some serious spelling

Published 10:18 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Finagle. Iridescent. Rendezvous.

Teams only have 30 seconds to answer correctly.

Get ready to crack open a Merriam-Webster and start memorizing, because the Suffolk Education Foundation’s Second Annual Grown-Up Spelling Bee is right around the corner.


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The foundation will host 13 teams clad in silly costumes to fight for the trophy at 2 p.m. Feb. 10 at King’s Fork High School. Last year’s winner was Kilby Shores Elementary School, and the school will defend its title this Saturday.

Teams of three have the opportunity to use their collective brain power to spell each word. There is a silver lining just in case the words get difficult, or the teams want to add some excitement to the competition. Every team has the opportunity to use lifelines, or “pollinator passes,” to stay afloat. Spellers have the options to use a “stinger,” “fly-over” or “spell check” during the competition, although teams can only use one lifeline per round, and once only two teams remain, lifelines are no longer an option.

Guests can expect “funny costumes, team antics, special ‘spelling’ music and learning some difficult spelling words in a no-pressure setting,” Bethanne Bradshaw stated in an email.

Teams are encouraged to wear costumes to the competition, “the more creative the better,” according to Bradshaw. All spectators have the opportunity to vote for the best team costumes.

Five of the teams participating are corporate or community teams – RRMM Architects and Design Team Partners, Suffolk Business Women, Bayport Credit Union, Suffolk Public Library, and the Queen Bee Sponsor, the Suffolk News-Herald. The remaining teams are from Suffolk schools.

Superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney will have a team, “The Super Bees,” and he will be joined by his assistant superintendents, Suzanne Rice and LaToya Harrison.

Tickets to the event cost $5 each and can be purchased at the Suffolk News-Herald office, 130 S. Saratoga St. Children 8 and under are free.

The first spelling bee put on by the Education Foundation raised almost $10,000.