Sharon Spelling Bee Champion is Super
Farmer, two school board members team up to win the Sharon Education Foundation fundraiser.
That he and school committee members Jeff Cruzan and Emily Smith-Lee spelled "saccade" correctly earned them their names engraved on the Sharon Education Foundation's "BEE Spellbound in Sharon" trophy.
The team of Farmer, Cruzan and Smith-Lee -- the "Edukatted Spellrs" -- won the foundation's 9th Annual spelling bee fundraiser on the championship round's ninth word.
The other four teams reaching the championship round, the night's sixth round, were: the Bee Goods (Tara Goodwin Frier, Melissa Leonard and Allison Schnipper); the SHS Freshmen (Sam Grady, Emma Lurie and Lasya Sreepada); SHS Apiary (Tae Cho, Jeanne Lazzaro and Thomas Sanborn) and Bee Cool (Howard Berkenbilt, Katherine Hahn and William Tan).
"This is the moment you've all been waiting for," said Sharon High Athletic Director Robert Sondheim, the round's celebrity pronouncer.
"Let's have a nice round of applause. Now, let's eliminate them."
The Edukkatted Spellers, the SHS Freshmen and Bee Cool all lasted eight words into the single-elimination championship round before "saccade" ended the game, which drew about 30 school and community teams. The Everwood Day Camp sponsored the event.
The teams' first test of the night came from Farmer -- from the podium, before the game started.
He challenged the audience to identify the misspellings in his remarks, displayed on a screen as he read from them. "Annuel" was among the words the crowd flagged.
This year's bee featured a new wrinkle, noted Dianne Needle, who serves as foundation co-president with Kathy Hershfield. For $30, a team could by a "Stay Alive in the Hive" card for use after one wrong answer in any round except the championship round. The cards were sold only before the bee began.
Sharon High librarian Cathy Collins judged the bee for the second straight year. She also chose the raffle winners, between rounds. Needle said more than $500 worth of raffle prizes was available, all donated by residents.
Selectman Richard Powell, Fire Chief James Wright and Sondheim served as the pronouncers, each taking two rounds.
In between rounds, the audience participated in a new facet of the bee.
Questions were displayed on the screen, and audience members texted in their answers to win prizes.