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Knowledgeable Local Students to Compete in the Penobscot County Spelling Bee at Husson University

Published on: March 1, 2018

Students compete in the Penobscot County Spelling Bee
Neil St. John, Bangor Christian School, 2017 Penobscot Spelling Bee Winner

BANGOR, MAINE - The sweet honey of victory and the sting of defeat are all a part of the annual Penobscot County Spelling Bee finals. As in years past, the Spelling Bee will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018 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 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition in the Washington, D.C. area this May. The event at Husson is free and open to the public.

“Each year, a bright and enthusiastic group of students participate in this event,” said Kelly Mead, clinical supervision director for Husson University’s School of Education. “Many of the students study for weeks in preparation for the finals. We hope everyone from the community will come out and show their appreciation to the many young people who have worked so hard to make it this far." 

Husson University’s School of Education is organizing the Penobscot County Spelling Bee finals for the seventh consecutive year. The event helps promote academic excellence among students in grades 5-8. Spellers must not have reached their 15th birthday on or before August 31, 2017

“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 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 local spelling bee finals. The upcoming Penobscot County Spelling Bee is one such local final. The winners of these local competitions will then go on to compete in the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., on May 29-May 31, 2018. Each year, more than 11 million students take part in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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. 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 won the first-place prize last year at the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee received $40,000 and the Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy. In addition, the first-place winner received a $2,500 US savings bond, a reference library from Merriam-Webster, $400 in reference works from Encyclopaedia Britannica, and a three-year membership to Britannica Online Premium. The winning speller also received a trip to New York City to appear on "LIVE with Kelly and Ryan" and a trip to Hollywood to appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!” The second-place finisher received $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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