2012 results…

are top finishers at the

Anita Youngblood, 1st prize winner in the Cheetahs Division of the 2012 Paris Spelling Bee

Sunday March 25, 2012 — Forty finalists from 18 elementary and secondary schools
competed in the 5th annual Paris Spelling Bee, held at the American University of Paris.

Spellers were grouped into two divisions: the Gazelles, in third-fifth grades (CE2-CM2), and the Cheetahs, in sixth-eighth grades (6ème-4ème).

Jahnavi Sinha, 2012 PSB winner/ Gazelles
Jahnavi Sinha, 1st place winner in the Gazelles Division of the 2012 Paris Spelling Bee

In the Cheetahs division, Anita Youngblood, eighth-grader from Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, won first prize by correctly spelling her championship word “putrescible.” Thomas Whitehouse, a seventh-grader from Ecole Active Bilingue Jeanine Manuel, took home the second-place trophy.  When judges moved to a surprise list of words, Youngblood plowed through exegetical, benignant, characteristic, blasphemous, saprogenic and visinage.

Thomas Whitehouse, 2nd place winner, Cheetahs Division, 2012 Paris Spelling Bee

Whitehouse held his place in the competition with words like erroneous, enunciation, vociferous and ascensor before stumbling on susurration.

Adhya Sharma, 2nd place winner, Gazelles Division, 2012 Paris Spelling Bee

In the Gazelles Division: Jahnavi Sinha, a fifth grader from the British School of Paris, won the first place trophy and Adhya Sharma, a fifth grader from the International School of Paris, won the second place trophy. Sinha successfully fielded terrific, pungent, muscular, puree, serenade and parasite before winning with piece. Sharma held her ground with replete, toilsome, microphone, pristine and punctual before tripping on awry to land in second place.

2012 PSB Cheetahs Group Cathy AN IMG_1834
2012 Paris Spelling Bee- Cheetahs Division

Tying in third place in the Cheetahs division were Pauline Delarue from St Jean de Passy and Yanis Cavrel, from Ecole Active Bilingue Victor Hugo.  Phoebe Turner from the American School of Paris, Jeanne Naila Anstyadi and Yu Yoshitake, from EaB Victor Hugo all tied for third place in the Gazelles group.

Dr. Neal Gordon, Dean of the American University of Paris and Vice President for Academic Affairs, dropped in to congratulate the spellers for building rich vocabulary, which he added will undoubtedly help them express their ideas and improve their communication skills in the years to come.  Dr. Gordon is also the author of several books, including The Company You Keep, which will be released as a Robert Redford film in the fall.

2012 PSB Gazelles Group by Celeste IMG_0154
2012 Paris Spelling Bee - Gazelles Division

Thank you to all 98 contestants who participated in the Preliminary Written Round on February 4, and all the finalists who continued on to the Oral Finals last Sunday.

The Paris Spelling Bee is an annual community enrichment event organized by Gifted in France in collaboration with the American Library in Paris.  For the second year in a row, the event was hosted by the American University of Paris. Pronouncers for the Gazelles were Charlie Trueheart, director of the American Library in Paris and Anne Swardson, editor at Bloomberg News.  Naida Kendrick Culshaw, the external relations manager at the ALP, was the pronouncer for the Cheetahs.

Words for Sunday’s Oral Finals were taken from Spell It! an official study guide published by Merriam-Webster in association with the National Spelling Bee in the United States. The list is often used in regional spelling bees across America.

In addition to the trophy, first-place winners in each division received a one-year family membership to the American Library in Paris along with an ALP tote bag. Second prize winners also received a trophy, tote bag from the ALP and an atelier of their choice at Une Mère, une Fille à Paris.  Gifted in France provided the rest of the finalists with medals, certificates and ALP tote bags. They also received prizes from Marc Labat, home-made treats baked by PSB volunteer Kim Siew Ngoh and books donated by the ALP.  Starbucks generously donated coffee, pastries and other treats to the audience at the Oral Finals.

Heartfelt thanks go to the Spelling Bee Organizers: Co-coordinators: Helen Sahin Connelly and Ashley B. Miller; Cate O’Connor, principal at the Roaming Schoolhouse; Amy O’Hara; Jude Smith Matisse; Naida Kendrick Culshaw; Kim Siew Ngoh; and Janet Sahin in the US.  
Many thanks also
to Dr. Celeste Schenck and Susan Mackay at the AUP; Matt Benz; Celeste Rhoads;  Derek Fergusan, director at the Roaming Schoolhouse; Julie Harris; Caroline Razat; Rose Burke; Chrise de Tournay Birkhahn;  Julie Casara; Mathieu Motta and Philippe Lesne.  Finally, a sincere thanks to Frank Connelly for his day-to-day support.

We also want to congratulate our 2010 Gazelle Champion, Tuli Bennett-Bose, who recently qualified to represent Washington D.C., at the Scripps National Spelling Bee to take place in Maryland on May 31st.  Tuli moved to the US shortly after her Paris Spelling Bee victory. Since then, she has not stopped entering school, regional and district competitions. Scripps is a highly competitive annual spelling bee in the United States, with participants also from Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Ghana, and the Bahamas.  Go Tuli Go!!

Thanks again everyone! Please contact us if you wish to be added to our updates, help us with this massive project, or if you wish to help sponsor the PSB next year.  Preparations begin in September with several stages leading up to the Oral Finals in March.

See you in 2013!
The Paris Spelling Bee Team

2012 PSB

2012 Paris Spelling Bee

TODAY, January 19th, is the last day to register.
All registration forms must be postmarked
on or before January 19.

Update: Gazelles (CE2-CM2) are full!
Spaces still available in the Cheetahs (6ème-4ème) division!

2011 Paris Spelling Bee: 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winners, Cheetahs division

Registration for the 5th Annual Paris Spelling Bee (PSB) is now open. Please visit our 2012 Invitation page for details and also visit our FAQ page for more information. We have also created a 2012 Registration page for easy access to the registration form. Please keep in mind that the deadline is Thursday January 19, 2012. Form must be signed and mailed in with the participation fee. Here are some important dates for your 2011-2012 calendar.


  • Saturday January 14, 2012 Introduction to Spelling Bees 15h00-16h00, to be held at the ALP. For children ages 7-14. Must RSVP with the ALP. This event is now FULL.
  • Saturday January 14, 2012 PSB Family Pizza Movie Night 18h30-21h00, to be held at the ALP. Join us for a special screening of the movie Akeelah and the Bee. This event is now FULL.


  • Thursday November 10, 2011 Paris Spelling Bee Registration Opens Registration opens for children in CE2-4ème. See our Invitation, FAQ and Registration pages on this blog.
  • Thursday January 19, 2012 Registration Deadline!! Last day to register for the PSB. Registration is first come first received, and limited to 100 applicants. To add your name or your school’s contact to our electronic updates, please email parisfrancespellingbee@gmail.com.
  • Saturday February 4, 2012 PSB Written Preliminary Round This is the written round for preregistered participants. Tentative time is 09h00-12h00. Location, in 75005, to be announced later. Confirmation, by email, will be sent to preregistered participants. Up to twenty finalists will be chosen from each division: Gazelles CE2-CM2, Cheetahs 6ème-4ème. Study List for the Preliminary Written Round will be made available 1 December 2011 on our blog under “2012 Study List,” and emailed to registered participants.
  • Sunday March 11, 2012 PSB Mock/Practice Session Tentative time: 10h00-13h00: This event is organized for
    Finalists chosen from the February 4th Preliminary Written Round. To be held at the American University of Paris. Study List for the Oral Finals of the Paris Spelling Bee will be made available to the Finalists after the Written Round.
  • Sunday March 25, 2012 Oral Finals of the Paris Spelling Bee Tentative time is 10h00-16h00. This event is open to Finalists and their invited guests. To be held at the American University of Paris.

To sign up for PSB updates and registration information, or if you have questions about the Paris Spelling Bee, please email Helen Sahin Connelly at parisfrancespellingbee@gmail.com.

The Paris Spelling Bee is organized by Gifted in France, in collaboration with the The American Library in Paris and hosted by the American University of Paris.

PSB is grateful to the ALP and AUP for their continued support of this community-wide enrichment event open to children throughout Paris. The 2011 PSB drew more than 100 children, grades CE2-4ème, from over 30 schools in the greater Paris area. Twenty students from each division, Gazelles CE2-CM2 and Cheetahs 6ème-4ème, advanced to the Oral Finals on March 20, 2011. For more information about the 2011 Bee and the winners- please scroll down.

Best of luck to everyone entering or following the 2012 Bee.
We are very excited about our 5th season!
Helen, Jude, Naida, Ashley, Amy, Cate, Kim and Rose
2012 Paris Spelling Bee Committee