Citywide Spelling Bee Champ 

Christine A. to represent Chicago at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May

April 04, 2012

On Friday, March 16, 2012, nearly 35,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students from approximately 117 schools participated in the Citywide Spelling Bee, part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition.


Over the past few weeks, each participating school held a bee, naming one student as their school’s “local spelling bee champion.” Ninety-two of the schools then sent their “student champions” to the Citywide Spelling Bee, held at Lindblom Math and Science Academy, where they demonstrated their spelling prowess, successfully spelling words such as “noticeable,” “occurrence,” and, yes, the word “misspell.”


“The competition was amazing and it was so interesting to see the students competing,” said Paschel Bennett, academic competitions coordinator for CPS. “They are just so bright. It was amazing to see some of the words they were able to conquer!”


After 38 rounds, Christine A., a 5th grade student at Lenart Gifted School, claimed the title as CPS’s Spelling Bee Champion. For more than 20 rounds, Christine competed against Jaliene O., an 8th grader from Burbank Elementary school, who took 2nd place. She claimed victory by correctly spelling “audible.”


“I was so excited that I had won. The last word wasn’t very hard and I was prepared so I was able to get it right,” said Christine, who prepared for the competition by studying practices lists a couple of hours each day.  “My mom helps quiz me to get me ready for the bees, too,” she said.


“Christine ‘walks softly but carries a big stick,’ academically speaking,” said Lenart Principal Joanna Theodore of the shy student.  “As a fourth grader, Christine placed third in the City Spelling Bee. This year, with more preparation to enhance her natural spelling ability, she went on to win.  Besides managing to maintain high grades, Christine has been an enthusiastic member of both the Chemistry Club and Chess Club here at Lenhart.”


Christine will now move on to represent Chicago at the 79th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, scheduled to take place May 27 through June 2 in National Harbor, Md. For information on the upcoming competition––to be aired live on ESPN––click here.


In recognition of her victory, Christine was awarded an all expense paid trip to the National Spelling Bee, including airfare, hotel and meals for herself and a chaperone; a $50 savings bond; the championship trophy; a Webster’s Dictionary; a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica; and a $20 Amazon gift card. For finishing second, Jaliene was awarded a 2nd place trophy, a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica and a $20 Amazon gift card.


“I am very excited to participate in the spelling bee because I will be doing something I’ve never done before.  I am not really too nervous.  And, since I’ve never been to National Harbor or Washington, D.C., before, it will be so much fun!” Christine exclaimed.


Congratulations to Christine and all our outstanding student spellers. Join us in wishing Christine luck as she prepares for the National Bee!


Photo gallery
5th grade CPS student triumphs at Citywide Spelling Bee
Photo gallery: 5th grade CPS student triumphs at Citywide Spelling Bee