Archive for Friday, September 20, 1996


September 20, 1996


The winning team correctly spelled trichinosis and concierge to win the third Lawrence corporate spelling bee.

First it was newspaper employees, then it was editors of scientific journals.

But this year, a team of teachers -- appropriately -- was crowed the top spellers in the area by winning the third Corporate Spelling Bee on Thursday night.

The team, sponsored by Wal-Mart, was comprised of Hillcrest School teachers Cyndi Rood, Kristi Carlsen-Jewell and Kathi Firns-Hubert.

They correctly spelled "concierge," defined as an attendant at the entrance of a building or doorkeeper, to win this year's competition.

Proceeds from the bee are used for the Newspapers in Education Program, which allows the Journal-World to provide newspapers to area students without charge.

"Since that's where the newspapers are going it's really nice" that teachers won, Rood said.

And how did the winning team prepare for the bee?

"We basically kind of read over the words," Firns-Hubert said.

"I had my sixth-graders read the words to me," Rood said. "The ones they couldn't pronounce, I had them look up."

One of her students, Hugh Naughtin, came to cheer on Rood.

A team of Stephens Real Estate employees comprised of Kelvin Heck, Kay Wertzberger and Jamie Hulse came in second.

One of two teams entered by Allen Press, which won the bee when it was last held in 1994, came in third.

Sallie Mae, which also entered two teams, was given the team spirit award.

In addition to 33 spellers on 11 teams and three judges, about 40 people watched the bee at the Lawrence Holidome, 200 McDonald Dr.

The teams of teachers and real estate employees remained after the second Allen Press team was eliminated by misspelling "soliterraneous," defined as of or relating to the Earth and sun.

A few words later, the Hillcrest teachers misspelled "diphtheria," a highly contagious disease, but the Stephens team could not spell it correctly either and the bee continued.

In all, 62 words were used in the bee before a winner was determined.

"This is the highest quality of spellers that we've ever had in our spelling bee," said Ralph Gage, general manager for the Journal-World, which sponsored the event.

The J-W won the bee when it was first held in 1993.

A total of $3,300 was raised in this year's bee.

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