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Husson University Abuzz About Saturday’s Spelling Bee

Published on: March 13, 2017

Kelly Mead, clinical supervision director for Husson University’s School of Education (left), congratulates this year’s winner of the Penobscot County Spelling Bee.  He is Neil St. John, a 13-year-old student who is in the 8th grade at Bangor Christian School.  He won by correctly spelling the word “herpetology.”

BANGOR, MAINE - Excitement is building on the campus of Husson University for the local Penobscot County Spelling Bee finals. The Spelling Bee will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre in Bangor. The winner of this competition will qualify to compete in the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition in the Washington, D.C. area this May. The Husson event is free and open to the public.

“Everyone at Husson University is looking forward to this year’s competition,” said Kelly Mead, clinical supervision director for Husson University’s School of Education. “Members of the audience can’t help but cheer for all of these students as they try their best to spell every word correctly.”  

Husson University’s School of Education is organizing the Penobscot County Spelling Bee finals for the sixth consecutive year. The event helps promote academic excellence among students in grades 5-8. 

“The participants’ spelling abilities are always impressive,” said Husson University Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Lynne Coy-Ogan. “This is an outstanding opportunity for students in our area to demonstrate their command of the English language.”

Each participating school in Penobscot County can send two students to compete in the countywide competition at The Gracie. These students have already proven themselves to be exceptional spellers by winning competitions at their respective schools.

The Penobscot County Spelling Bee is an elimination-style competition held in front of an audience and a panel of judges. Husson University’s Associate Professor of Elementary and Secondary Education, Dr. Sandip Wilson, will be responsible for providing the words to the students.

As the sponsor, Husson University will provide the winner and a parent or guardian with an all-expense-paid trip to the Washington, D.C. area. This individual will be one of two students representing the State of Maine in the national competition. 

Every fall, tens of thousands of schools enroll in the spelling bee program. Schools then conduct spelling bees at the classroom, grade, and/or school level and those winners move onto the final local bees. The winners of these local competitions will then go on to compete in the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational promotion administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors like Husson University around the world. The goal of the event is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

The student who wins the first place prize at the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee will receive $40,000. The second place finisher will receive $30,000.

The Gracie Theatre is located at 1 College Circle in Bangor, Maine. Individuals in need of directions can contact the Gracie’s box office at 207.941.7888,, or visit

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells, and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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