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IPEIBee2016WegmansICSD 120Congratulations go to the IthacaSTEM Hexaplexes for winning the 18th Annual IPEI Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday, March 6 at the Ithaca High School Wellness Center Gym. Team members, Karen Trible, Suzanne Nussbaum, and Mark Chao won without a single misspell! Words they spelled correctly when other teams could not included idiosyncrasy, diphtheria, boutonniere, xerosis, zaibatsu, desiccant, and oeuvre.

We Spell Krazy Good from WSKG, the Fine Arts Word Boosters, and Spellicans were the other teams that advanced from the four preliminary rounds to the championships.

Nussbaum remarked as they were presented with the Fuzzy Bee Trophy: "It was a lot of fun.  I wish I had participated in past years, too."  Trible explained that they did not have a study method that lead to their success, yet between them they know Latin, French and Greek. Chao said, "I am impressed with the amount of good will and spirit on display today with so many community members volunteering, making sponsorship donations, and cheering us on."

According to Spelling Bee Committee Chair Jennifer Biloski, this year's event was the largest ever in support of IPEI's grants programs with over 300 in attendance.  "When the Bee concluded, all revenue had not yet been counted, but we appear to be very close to our $30,000 goal. It was our first Bee with 32 teams so we had 96 spellers! With eight teams competing in each round of spelling, we needed eight judges working with the host, word pronouncer and timekeeper."


IPEI's Executive Director Christine Sanchirico opened the Bee expressing appreciation to the spellers, event sponsors, team sponsors, refreshment donors, program advertisers, silent auction contributors, quilt creators and ticket buyers, and volunteers from the IPEI Board and from the community. She introduced Mayor Svante Myrick who welcomed the spectators and spellers, and thanking everyone involved with public education because of its critical importance for the individual students and for the community's future.

Sanchirico also welcomed Jean McPheeters, host; Geoff Dunn, word pronouncer; and Deborah O'Connor, time-keeper. McPheeters and Dunn acknowledged the eight judges (Ralph Jones, Paulette Manos, Deborah Lynn, Deborah Mohlenhoff, Jerry Dietz, Vicki Brous, Matt Braun and Sanchirico) and honorary bee-keepers for each round (Myrick, Mike Wayne, Joel Malina, and the Little Red Bear).

Calf Audio, Westhill Graphics, Remembox, WRED and Auburn Party Rental provided key event support. The Spelling Bee Committee's work was shared with volunteers from Alphi Phi Omega service fraternity, Code Red Robotics, Ithaca High’s Key Club, and DeWitt Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society.  This year’s bee fairies were Charlotte Hay and Anna Danks Burke.

IPEIBee2016WinnersThe Winners!

Thanks to the event sponsors, all proceeds go directly toward funding Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) grants. The Blue Ribbon Champion Sponsor was Chemung Canal Trust Company, and the Red Ribbon Finalist Sponsor was Wells Fargo Financial Advisors. Sciarabba Walker and Cayuga Radio Group are Gold Ribbon Sponsors.  
“IPEI’s grants programs help Ithaca City School District teachers engage students and enhance education, sparking student learning by connecting the schools with our diverse and talented community,” according to Sanchirico.

WRED, Ithaca High School's digital media lab, recorded the Bee for future viewing on YouTube.

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