March 25, 2010
A student at Decatur Classical School took first place in the recent Chicago Public Schools city-wide spelling bee and will represent the District in a national competition later this spring.
Christopher Rupprecht, a sixth grader at Decatur, 7030 N. Sacramento Ave, finished first among 54 CPS finalists in the Scripps Spelling Bee earlier this month.
The winning word spelled correctly by Rupprecht was “obsessional.”
Second place in the spelling bee was taken by Kira Gallancy, a seventh grader at Lincoln Elementary School, 615 W. Kemper Place; third place was captured by Julie Lee, an eighth grader at Bell Elementary School, 3730 N. Oakley Ave.
Fifty-four students from a like number of CPS schools participated in the finals. All of the District’s elementary schools are encouraged to enroll in the Scripps National Spelling Bee during September and October. This year 249 schools participated.
Using Scripps material and word lists, each school first conducts its own series of local spelling bees beginning at the classroom level and culminating with a school-wide event. This year, approximately 75,000 CPS students participated in local bees.
During February, each school champion was given the option of participating in an on-line spelling bee in order to select competitors for the next level of competition. This is only the second time that technology has played a role in selecting a spelling bee champion. Each student is required to spell 50 words on-line and submit their responses to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. In a traditional spelling bee setting students rarely spell more than 10 words.
One hundred-seventy CPS students took the on-line test and 54 students emerged for the city-wide Spelling Bee competition won by Rupprecht.
Rupprecht will next travel to Washington, D.C. in May to represent the City of Chicago. At this competition, he will compete against spelling bee champions from across the country.
“Christopher Rupprecht is an excellent student who is on the Honor Roll and is a part of the Decatur Math Counts team,” said Decatur Principal Susan Kukielka. “This year he was one of four students who won awards through the state’s Bright Start Program. We are extremely proud of Christopher’s accomplishment in winning the Scripps Spelling Bee Competition and we are confident that a real winner will represent Chicago and Decatur Classical School well in Washington.”
Chicago Public Schools serves 417,855 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.