June 8, 2010
Twenty-nine finalists from 13 schools competed in the 3rd annual Paris Spelling Bee on Sunday May 30 at the American Library in Paris. Students were grouped into two categories: Gazelles for 3rd-5th graders (CE2-CM2) and 6th-8th graders (6ème- 4ème).
In the Gazelles group, Tuli Bennett-Bose, a 5th grader (CM2) from International School of Paris, won first prize by spelling ‘demarcate’ correctly in the 29th round. Another 5th grader, Niamh Howley from Institute de l’Assomption Lubeck, took the second place trophy for the second year in a row. Niamh also attends the Roaming Schoolhouse for English instruction. Tuli and Niamh are 10 years old.
In the Cheetahs group, 13-year-old Shannon Connelly, from Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel, won first place by correctly spelling her championship word ‘serendipity.” Twelve-year-old Cody Vance, from College International Fontainebleau, clinched second prize by spelling ‘catalpa.’ Shannon is in 8th grade (4ème) and Cody is in 7th grade (5ème). It was the third time Shannon has competed in the bee.
Both first-prize winners also received one-year family memberships from the American Library in Paris, as well as iSpy Binoculars from Office Depot. Additional prizes for all finalists were provided by the library, Hachette Livres International, Marc Labat, The Roaming Schoolhouse, and WH Smith.
The event is an annual community enrichment activity organized by Gifted in France in collaboration with the American Library in Paris. ALP’s director Charlie Trueheart and journalist Anne Swardson served as the official pronouncers.
For the Gazelles, Celine Son from the Lennen Bilingual School finished in 3rd place in the 25th round, while 5th grader Matteo Boissiere from Massillon and 4th grader Holly O’Neil from Ecole Georges Cogniot in Malakoff finished in 4th and 5th place respectively. Both Matteo and Holly are 9 years old.
Tying for 3rd place for the Cheetahs were 12-year-old Casper Sanderson from EABJM and 11-year-old Benjamin Macintyre from La Source. Finishing in 5th and 6th place were Mia Canbantous from EABJM and Sasha Tsovma from Stanislas.
Seventy-eight students from more than 30 schools participated in the preliminary written round on April 10th, and 16 finalists were chosen for both the Gazelles and Cheetahs based on their performance. This year’s spellers showed remarkable courage and unprecedented dedication to learning their words and coming to the scheduled events –the preliminary written round, practice session and the oral finals.
The Paris Spelling Bee is grateful to the American Library in Paris for hosting the bee for the third straight year. Special thanks go to the organizers who devoted countless hours over the last several months to making the event possible: Jude Smith Matisse, Cate O’Connor, Rose Burke, Melanie O’Neil, Kim Siew Ngoh, Shellie Holubek, Ashley Miller and Emine Pelin Ariner. Additional thanks go to Naida Culshaw Kendrick, Nati Jiminez, Cathy Altman Nocquet, Janet Hoffman, Helen Stathopulos Géhin and Sophie Field.
Paris Spelling Bee is modeled after typical bees in the United States.
Spelling bees provide an opportunity for students to expand their vocabulary, learn about word origins and have a chance to improve their public speaking abilities.
A family movie night was also organized by the bee committee and ALP in March where over 80 parents and children showed up at the American Library to have pizza and watch the award-winning documentary Spellbound.
2011 Paris Spelling Bee is already looking for co-sponsors to help defray the costs and donate educational prizes. The committee is also seeking volunteers who are passionate about providing an enriching experience to young spellers, readers and those curious about words, words and words.
Schools and individuals interested in helping or participating in the 2011 bee can email Helen Sahin Connelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to all our 2010 winners and finalists!!
See You Next Year!