ArchiTexts create a buzz

Published 9:58 pm Monday, May 20, 2019

Eight teams vied for the Suffolk Education Foundation’s third annual Grown-Up Spelling Bee crown Saturday at King’s Fork High School, and the ArchiTexts of RRMM Architects and Design Partners and the Typographical Airers of the Suffolk News-Herald were the last two standing.

After some precarious spelling moments among the two teams, the ArchiTexts topped the defending champions for the win and trophy.

“I was really impressed with my teammates here,” said Duane Harver of RRMM Architects and Design Team Partners, referring to Adam Collins and Erin Young. “They spelled some words that I couldn’t spell, and it seemed like every time a word came up, one of the three of us seemed to have an answer, so it worked out great for us.”

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Teams had the option of buying “Pollinator Passes” — a “Stinger” to pass a word to another team, a “Fly-Over” to pass on a word and get a new word to spell, or a “Spell Check” to allow a team a second chance to spell a word it misspelled.

Harver said the team used most of its lifelines early, but it ended up with a Spell Check it never used.

“We just needed a warmup,” Young said. “It was so good to go out and experience the fun sort of competition for a good cause. It also really helps with our team building, because we work on buildings, and doing something outside of what we do every day really lets you get to know your team members through knowing different spellings. It’s kind of like, ‘Wow, you know something I didn’t know.’”

Collins said it was an enjoyable event, but it brought forth its own challenge.

“It’s a fun event, but there’s a lot of pressure as well,” Collins said.

In the championship round, both teams spelled their initial words correctly before each got stumped on glockenspiel. Both teams got back on track with their next words.

However, after the ArchiTexts spelled “lugubrious” correctly, the Typographical Airers missed on the word “vassalage,” giving The ArchiTexts the chance to spell the same word for the win — and they did.

Harver said being on the stage during the Bee brought back memories of the work he did with RRMM Architects during the design and construction process of the school. He shared some of those stories during the lunch before the competition.

“Just while eating lunch, Duane was sharing with me memories specific to this project when it was under the design and construction process,” Young said.

Besides the spelling itself, the team from Northern Shores Elementary School — “Spelling with a Porpoise” — took home the award for best costume.

Patrick Belcher, SEF president and Bee emcee, said it was an enjoyable event and hopes more teams will participate next year in an event that benefits Suffolk Public Schools.

“It’s a great opportunity for adults in the community to reminisce and have a lot of fun,” Belcher said.