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2012 Supplement

30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT March 29, 2012

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HISTORY OF THE WASHINGTON INFORMER

SPELLING BEE T

he Washington Informer’s first year of sponsorship of the D.C. Wide Spelling Bee took place during the 1981-82 school years. The late Dr. Mary E. White, supervising director, D.C. Public Schools Division of Instructional Services, Department of English, wanted D.C. Public Schools students to have the opportunity to participate in the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee held annually in Washington, D.C. Scripps-Howard, the National Spelling Bee sponsor was willing to include the District of Columbia in the national competition, but the rules required that only daily newspapers could sponsor local competitions. Many years prior, The Washington Daily News, a daily tabloid, sponsored the local spelling bee. Subsequently, The Washington Star purchased the Daily News, and ceased sponsorship of the spelling bee. Thus, for more than 14 years, District of Columbia public, private and parochial school children could not participate in the national competition for lack of a sponsoring newspaper. Dr. White solicited support from The Washington Post, hopeful that the publisher would agree to become the District’s official sponsor. According to Dr. White, Post officials told her that since the daily newspaper was a regional publication; their sponsorship would have to include not only the District of Columbia, but suburban Maryland and Virginia, as well. However, at that time, the Journal newspaper chain had served as the suburban sponsor for several years, resulting in the Post’s refusal to sponsor the bee solely for students enrolled in District schools. Dr. White then appealed to Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, a friend and supporter of the D.C. Public Schools, who was president and founder of the United Black Fund, Inc. and publisher of The Washington Informer newspaper. It was Dr. White’s hope that Dr. Rolark would exercise his influence over the Post officials and persuade them to agree to sponsor the spelling bee. However, as publisher of a weekly newspaper, which served more than 25,000 readers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, Dr. Rolark volunteered his publication to serve as a sponsor. With that, he brought in his daughter, Denise Rolark, managing editor of The Washington Informer, to assist in coordinating the District’s first spelling bee along with Dr. White and other D.C. Public School officials. The first city-wide spelling bee was held at Backus Junior High School in March 1982.The winner was a sixth grade student, John Krattenmaker, who attended Mann Elementary School. Krattenmaker was not permitted to participate in the Scripps Howard National Spelling

Photos from the WI Archives

Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes prepares for NBC4 interview following the spelling bee with D.C. Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Arlene Ackerman. Dr. Ackerman is now superintendent of the Philadelphia Public Schools.

See BEE on Page S-3 Ashley White gets a big hug from her mother following her successful bid as D.C. spelling bee champion. Last May, Ashley received her undergraduate degree from Howard University.

It was Dr. White’s hope that Dr. Rolark would exercise his influence over the Post officials and persuade them to agree to sponsor the spelling bee. However, as publisher of a weekly newspaper, which served more than 25,000 readers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, Dr. Rolark volunteered his publication to serve as a sponsor. S-2

March 29, 2012

30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT

Each year, approximately 2,000 students enrolled in nearly 200 D.C. public, charter, parochial and home schools participate in the spelling bee. For the past 26 years, the City-Wide Spelling Bee has been held at the studios of NBC4, where it is taped and later aired for general viewership. Bee held the following May because The Washington Informer was and still is not a daily newspaper. As an officer of the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association, a trade organization of over 300 African American-owned newspapers across the country, Dr. Rolark concluded that the national spelling be was maintaining an inherently racist policy because there were no African American-owned daily newspapers in the country at that time. Dr. Rolark argues that if, in a jurisdiction like Washington, D.C., where the majority of the student population is African American, students who might otherwise be eligible to participate in the spelling bee would be precluded from doing so unless a White-owned daily agreed to become the official sponsor. Dr. Rolark called in his legal counsel and wife, Wilhelmina J. Rolark, who threatened Scripps Howard with an injunction that would forbid the national competition to take place in the District of Columbia until the court ruled on the merits of the case alleging discrimination. Scripps Howard complied, and changed its rules allowing weekly newspapers sponsorship in the national competition. That year, the Loudon County Times, a weekly newspaper based in Loudon County, Virginia and the only other weekly newspaper to participate along with the Informer in the national spelling bee that year, produced the national spelling bee winner. Each year, approximately 2,000 students enrolled in nearly 200 D.C. Public, charter, parochial and home schools participate in the spelling bee. For the past 25 years, the City-Wide Spelling Bee has been held at the studios of NBC4, where it is taped and later aired for general viewership. Scripps, a diversified multi-media company with several daily and non-daily newspapers, established the National Spelling Bee to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, learn concepts, and develop correct English that will help them all their lives. Spellers experience the satisfaction of learning language not only for the sake of correct spelling but also for the sake of cultural and intellectual literacy. The Washington Informer’s participation in Scripps National Spelling Bee helps to further those goals in the District of Columbia and addresses the issue of illiteracy, particularly among young Black youth. Since the Washington Informer Spelling Bee was started 27 years ago, the youngest participant would be 40 years old and the youngest would be 32. It has not been easy to keep up with the 25 winners who represented the District of Columbia in the National Bee, according to Rolark Barnes, but reports indicate that many of the spellers have gone on to live successful lives pursuing careers in law, public affairs and journalism. “If we want to improve the quality of life for all Americans,” said the late Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, publisher, “then we must begin by teaching our children to read, which they will not be able to achieve until they can learn to spell.” Now in its 27th year, Washington Informer publisher Denise Rolark Barnes believes the spelling bee is as important today as it was when Dr. White first brought the idea to Dr. Rolark. “We believe that improving literacy among all of our readers and their families is an essential element of our mission to inform, educate, empower and entertain the community we serve,” Rolark Barnes said. “The partnership that has endured between The Washington Informer, NBC4 and the D.C. Public Schools is one of the most meaningful relationships we have developed over the years, and we are proud to continue this relationship which directly benefits the children of our city,” Rolark Barnes added. WI

Dr. Mary White, chairman of the English and Language Arts Dept., congratulates John Krattenmaker, of Lafayette Elementary School, D.C.’s first winner of the Washington Informer Spelling Bee held 27 years ago.

Daphne Gaither, of Evans Junior High School, with Dr. Mary White and her team of spelling bee coordinators from the English and Language Arts Department of DC Public Schools.

Washington Informer publisher Dr. Calvin W. Rolark interviews spelling bee champion Ronald Benson-El during his weekly taping of Sound-Off on WYCB 1340-AM.

30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT March 29, 2012

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30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT

Mr Olender shares his wisdom with the winners during his reception

Attorney Jack H. Olender hosted a special reception for the spelling bee winners and presented them with cash prizes. Shown are (from left) Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes, First place winner Tuli Bennett-Bose, second place winner Noa Rosinplotz , Mr. Olender, third place winner Justin Atwood, fourth place winner Ella Goldblum, and Washington Informer director of marketing Ron Burke

2012 Washington Informer Spelling Bee Winners First Place

Tuli Bennett-Bose

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School 7th Grade Second Place Noa Rosinplotz Oyster-Adams Bilingual School 5th Grade

THE MALPRACTICE LAW FIRM

Jack H. Olender

& ASSOCIATES, P.C. Congratulations to Winners TULI BENNETT-BOSE NOA ROSINPLOTZ JUSTIN ATWOOD ELLA GOLDBLUM and all the

Third Place Justin Atwood Deal Middle School 6th Grade

30th Annual Washington Infomer Spelling Bee Participants 888 17th St., N.W., 4th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20006 www.olender.com (202) 879-7777 FAX (202) 393-2245

30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT March 29, 2012

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We consider each and every finalist to be a winner, and our sponsors and partners have helped us to reward every one of them. We humbly ask that you support our sponsors, partners, and advertisers.

2012 Spelling Bee Sponsors and Partners Southwest Air Giant Food The Nielsen Company McDonalds Microsoft DC Public Schools NBC4 Champion Trophy Coca Cola Washington Nationals Pepco Inspire BBQ and Catering McMillon Communications The Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education Inc. (FAME) Jack H Olender and Associates Lunch Provided by Inspire BBQ and Catering

2012 PRIZE LIST First Place Winner: • • • • • • • • • •

First Place Trophy – courtesy by Champion Trophy Laptop Speakers courtesy of Microsoft X box Game software and web design software – Courtesy of Microsoft Four Tickets anywhere Southwest Airlines flies – courtesy of Southwest Air Check for $1000 – courtesy of Jack H. Olender and Associates 1 hour session with Doris McMillon on effective public speaking Hotel stay for the national bee at the Grand Hyatt – courtesy of The Washington Informer Washington Nationals tickets Invitation to be honored at Home Plate of a Nationals game and a meet and greet with a player and Screech. Giant gift card

Washington Informer gift bag

Second Place Winner: • • • • • • •

Second Place Trophy – courtesy of Champion Trophy X box Game software and web design software – Courtesy of Microsoft Washington Nationals tickets Check for $500 – courtesy of Jack H. Olender and Associates Invitation to be honored at Home Plate of a Nationals game and a meet and greet with a player and Screech. Giant gift card Washington Informer gift bag

Third Place Winner: • • • • • • •

Third Place Trophy – courtesy of Champion Trophy X box Game software – Courtesy of Microsoft Washington Nationals tickets Check for $300 – courtesy of Jack H. Olender and Associates Invitation to be honored at Home Plate of a Nationals game and a meet and greet with a player and Screech. Giant gift card Washington Informer gift bag

All other finalists: • • •

Finalist Trophy – courtesy of Champion Trophy Giant gift card Washington Informer gift bag

Please feel free to contact The Washington Informer with any questions, concerns, suggestions for next year, or if

Please feel free to contact The Washington Informer with any questions, concerns, suggestions for next year, or if you would like to personally thank any of our sponsors. The Washington Informer Newspaper www.washingtoninformer.com 202-561-4100 (office) 202-574-3785 (fax) Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher Ron Burke, Advertising and Marketing Director

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you would like to personally thank any of our sponsors. The Washington Informer Newspaper www.washingtoninformer.com 202-561-4100 (office) 202-574-3785 (fax) Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher Ron Burke, Advertising and Marketing Director

30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT

Copyright © 2012 The Nielsen Company. All rights reserved. Nielsen and the Nielsen logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of CZT/ACN Trademarks, L.L.C 4772/0312

certain achievements open everyone’s eyes. Nielsen would like to congratulate the 30th Annual Washington Informer Spelling Bee Winners First Place - Tuli Bennett-Bose Second Place - Noa Rosinplotz Third Place - Justin Atwood

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Did you know?

Did you know the McDonald’s® Family Restaurants of Greater Washington, D.C. are committed to education and have awarded over $600,000 to local students through the annual McDonald’s Educates Scholarship Program? McDonald’s is proud to sponsor the Washington Informer Spelling Bee. Congratulations Tuli Bennett-Bose!

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30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT

Photos by Victor Holt

Atiya Webb, 7th grade, Columbia Heights Education Campus, gets a kiss from her father who was said he was proud that she was a finalist in the Washington Informer spelling bee.

First place winner Tuli Bennett-Bose, Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes, second place winner Noa Rosinplotz , Courtney Jones of Nielsen who was a sponsor, and third place winner Justin Atwood

The intense two hour spelling bee was followed by a delicious lunch provided by Inspire BBQ Restaurant and Catering.

First place winner Tuli Bennett-Bose, Giant Food representative Jennifer Gonzalez, third place winner Justin Atwood, and second place winner Noa Rosinplotz

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The Washington Informer Spelling Bee Celebrates 30th Annual Competition By Floyd Nelson Jr. WI Staff Writer Two students from OysterAdams Bilingual School won the top spots in the 30th Annual Washington Informer spelling Bee. Armed with their daunting arsenals of words and spelling skills, they claimed the first and second prizes and a chance to represent the District of Columbia in the National Scripps Spelling Bee in May. Tuli Bennett-Bose, a seventh grader, and Noa Rosinplotz, a fifth grader, won first and second place, respectively. Tuli, a familiar face because she won second place at The Washington Informer Spelling Bee last year, will go on to compete in the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National, in Oxon Hill, Md., on May 31, 2012.  Despite all of her etymological prowess, Tuli, the veteran spelling bee champion, who said she practiced “over and over again,” didn’t expect to win. “I didn’t expect to know the last word,” Tuli said. “I was really nervous.” Tuli’s winning word was “epistolary” and spelling it correctly allowed her to walk away with a cash prize of $1,000 and other prizes. Meanwhile, Noa, a star wordsmith in her own right, nabbed the second-place trophy and a $500 cash prize. Taped before a live studio audience of family, friends and supporters on March 10, the bee was held at NBC4 studios in Northwest D.C. The Washington Informer Spelling Bee is set to air locally Easter Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m. News anchors Aaron Gilchrest and Angie Goff co-hosted the event. One of those spelling bee supporters in attendance was D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson who said she was “beaming” and excited for Tuli, Noa, Oyster Adams, the parents and D.C. Public Schools. “People underestimate us and I think this goes to show that our students are at least better spellers than anybody else,” Henderson said. “Activities like

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Spelling bee participants raise their trophies to show they are all winners. Each one participated in a school spelling bee and a regional bee before going on to the citywide competition.

the Spelling Bee help us to reinforce for our young people a set of high expectations. The competition they are going to face out there in the world…we actually show them we support them and they can be excellent and I think these young people did a tremendous job today. We have a stage full of winners. People underestimate D.C. Public School students and don’t think we can achieve or perform at these high levels. Showcases like this show the city, the country, the world that DCPS can produce excellent students.” Although The Washington Informer reached a milestone by sponsoring the spelling bee for the last 30 years, it almost never happened. Before 1981, the now defunct daily tabloid, The Washington Daily News, owned by the E.W. Scripps Company, sponsored the spelling bee annually. The Daily News merged with the Washington Star, but the Star went out of business. This left the spelling bee without its sponsor--a mandated

daily newspaper-- for more than 14 years. Meanwhile spellers from around the world continued to come to the District to participate in Scripps’ famous annual championship event. All 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Canada participated in the spelling bee. Spellers even came from parts of Europe, the AsiaPacific, and Africa. But with no daily newspaper sponsor, the District of Columbia was left out in the cold. After The Washington Post turned down the opportunity to sponsor the event, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, the founder and publisher of The Washington Informer, was approached and agreed to sponsor the citywide spelling bee. The first Washington Informer sponsored spelling bee was held in 1982 at Bertie Backus Junior High School. Because The Informer, however, was not a daily newspaper, the city’s spelling bee winner was not permitted to compete at the national compe-

tition. The District found itself effectively still blocked out of completion. With The Washington Informer being the only black newspaper sponsoring a spelling bee, Rolark felt something else was going on —racial discrimination. He and his wife, attorney and city council member, Wilhelmina J. Rolark, threatened to file an injunction blocking Scripps from holding the spelling bee in the District of Columbia until Scripps decided to allow weekly newspapers to be spelling bee sponsors. The Informer took the sponsorship mantle. Denise Rolark Barnes, The Washington Informer publisher and Rolark’s daughter, said her late father would be happy and pleased to know the newspaper he started is continuing to sponsor the spelling bee. “If my dad were here, he would be overjoyed that The Washington Informer is continuing a tradition that he started— the tradition of sponsoring the annual spelling bee,” Rolark

30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT

Barnes said. “He believed that education was fundamental to the growth and success of young people, this city, the nation and the world. Our newspaper is proud to be associated with the education of our local children who truly are our future.” Rolark Barnes underscored that corporate sponsors are a significant part of The Washington Informer Spelling bee. This year’s sponsors who have contributed cash and prizes include: NBC4, DCPS, McDonald’s, the Washington Nationals, Pepco, the Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education (FAME), Champion Trophies, Jack H. Olender & Associates, Microsoft, Nielsen, Giant, Young Designs, The Coca-Cola Company, McMillon Communications and Southwest Airlines Nielsen’s Director of Public Affairs Courtney Jones, said “all companies should be invested” in the future and enSee 30th on Page S-11

Photos by Victor Holt

First place winner Tuli Bennett-Bose and second place winner Noa Rosinplatz prepare for an interview after receiving their first and second place trophies, respectively. The Washington Informer spelling bee was held in the same studio where Meet the Press, NBC4’s award-winning public affairs program, is taped.

NBC4 co-hosts Aaron Gilchrest and Angie Goff interview Washington Informer spelling bee winners TuliBennett-Bose and Noa Rosinplatz, along with DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

Alex Togneri-Jones, 5th grade, Murch Elementary School

Noa Rosinplatz shares a private moment with her mother after winning second place in the Washington Informer spelling bee.

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couraging students to be voracious readers” while studying the English language, foreign languages and embracing learn

ing opportunities. “We will continue to support initiatives such as The Washington Informer Spelling Bee. We do a lot of support with science technology, engineering and math and something like the spelling bee--when students are

encouraged to read and understand language--that is a building block for success in their future endeavor. Being a good speller and being someone who avidly reads--that’s the foundation and the building blocks for whatever you want to do.” wi

Ward 6 State Board of Education member Monica Warren Jones with her daughter, and Sandra Schlicker, Deputy Superintendent of Education attended the Washington Informer Spelling Bee that included students enrolled in DC public, charter, independent and home schools

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Photos by Victor Holt

DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson said she is proud that first place winner Tuli Bennett-Bose, second place winner Noa Rosinplatz and third place winner Justin Atwood attend D.C. Public Schools. The Washington Informer spelling bee attracts 4th through 8th grade students that attend D.C. public, charter, independent and home schools.

We are proud to provide the trophies for

the Washington Informer Spelling Bee

trophies and gift bags were provided for everyone

52 Years of Expert Engraving Services

Competition and camaraderie marked the Washington Informer’s 30th anniversary spelling bee among spellers including George Turmail, #27, of Stoddert Elementary School and Alex-Togneri-Jones, #23, of Murch Elementary School.

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30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT

Message From

The Washington Nationals

Before the April 22nd game vs. the Miami Marlins, the Nationals will honor the winners of the Washington Informer Spelling Bee.  The Nationals are providing all winners and their families, complimentary tickets to the game, and will honor all winners on field before the game with a “Spirit Award” in front of the entire crowd.  Congratulations to all winners.

Noa Rosinplatz shows the intensity of the final rounds of the 30th Annual Washington Informer spelling bee. She won second place and Tuli Bennett-Bose (right) won the first place title.

DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson attended the spelling bee and encouraged the spelling bee participants to continue doing their best in school.

30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT March 29, 2012

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CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK

© 2007 The Coca-Cola Company. “Coca-Cola” and the Contour Bottle are registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company.

A gold star in liquid form

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March 29, 2012

Job No: fz6436a01.indd

Bleed: 11.25" x 14.75"

Description: Gold Star Publication: Trade Union Center

Live: 10" x 14"

Trim: 10.9375" x 14.5" Client Name: Fitzgerald BEE SUPPLEMENT 30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING

Line Screen: 85 Scale: 100% Output: 85%

8/9/07 8:31:35 AM

My Bee Experience by Tuli J. Bennett-Bose

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ast year, I left the Washington Informer Spelling Bee with a second-place trophy and an inspiration to win first place in the future. It was my first spelling year in the US, and I was surprised that I had made it close to the top. (In 2010, I had come first in the Paris Spelling Bee.) I was up against Donovan Jordan in the Washington Informer Spelling Bee in 2011. We went back and forth for over 10 rounds. When I misspelled “sas-

safras,” a word that I had seen before and that was on the list, I was a little frustrated but still excited to have made it to second place. I realized that there was a chance for me for me to come first if I studied and tried again. During this last year, I collected hard words, read lots of books, and had my parents and friends drill me on my word lists until I knew them well. Unlike the year before, this year I felt I had a chance to win, so I studied more seriously. Still, once I saw how good the other spellers

were this year I didn’t think I was likely to win first place. When I did win, I was joyful, shocked, and nervous at the same time. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to the National Bee! Although I’m scared about the National Bee coming up at the end of May, it will be amazing to be there. I’m excited to meet all the other spellers from around the country and the world. Spelling has been an overall great experience for me. wi

First place spelling bee winner Bose-Bennett-Bose with her parents and sister.

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Meet The 2012 Spellers

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Speller 1 Ben Topa Deal Middle School 8th Grade

Speller 6 Dev Bhojwani Washington Latin Public Charter School 6th Grade

Speller 2 Ella Pearlman-Chang Lafayette Elementary School 4th Grade

Speller 7 Michaela Knox Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science 7th Grade

Speller 3 Susie Joseph Cavalry Christian Academy 4th Grade

Speller 8 Sylvia Gisler Holy Trinity School 8th Grade

Speller 4 Noa Rosinplotz Oyster-Adams Bilingual School 5th Grade

Speller 9 Iman Hassen Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School 6th Grade

Speller 5 Aaron Rosenthal Lafayette Elementary School 5th Grade

Speller 10 Evan Kearney Eaton Elementary School 5th Grade

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30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT

Meet The 2012 Spellers

Speller 11 Stokely Lewis Roots Activity Learning Center 8th Grade

Speller 16 Samuel Joyce Holy Trinity School 7th Grade

Speller 12 Tuli Bennett-Rose Oyster-Adams Bilingual School 7th Grade

Speller 17 Mahler Revsine Washington Latin Public Charter School 7th Grade

Speller 13 Hudson Primus, II Stoddert Elementary School 5th Grade

Speller 18 Rasaan Johnson Roots Public Charter School 7th Grade

Speller 14 Olivia Barr Deal Middle School 6th Grade

Speller 19 Justin Atwood Deal Middle School 6th Grade

Speller 15 Eric Wright Washington Latin Public Charter School 6th Grade

Speller 20 Atiya Webb Columbia Heights Education Campus 7th Grade

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Meet The 2012 Spellers Speller 21 Andrea Giordano Holy Trinity School 7th Grade

Speller 26 Sam Lossef Washington Independent School 5th Grade

Speller 23 Alex Togneri-Jones Murch Elementary School 5th Grade

Speller 27 George Turmail Stoddert Elementary School 4th Grade

Speller 24 Ella Goldblum Washington Independent School 5th Grade

Meet The Pronouncer and The Judges

Pronouncer Ms. Doris McMillon

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Judges Dr. Elizabeth V. Primas, Literacy Consultant, Ms. Mildred Washington, Program Manager and DCPS Spelling Bee Coordinator, Ms. Patricia Bailey, Budget Analyst 30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT

Spelling Bee in 8 Languages

pepco.com

French: un concours d’orthographe German: Rechtschreibwettbewerb Italian: gara di ortografia, gara di abilità ortografica Hatian Creole: myèl òtograf Polish: Pisownię bee Swedish: stavningslek, stavningstävling Spanish: concurso de ortografía Swahili: spelling nyuki (Source: dictionary.com)

Apply your energy and you’ll go far. We are proud to support all of the hardworking participants in the 30th Annual Washington Informer Spelling Bee.

My Best Spelling Bee Moment By Misty Brown WI Staff Writer

My most memorable spelling bee moment was in the third grade at Edgar P. Harney Elementary School in New Orleans, La. The year was 1963. I knew I was going to win that particular class contest. I was going to get that gold star on the middle of my forehead. I was going to run home with my golden crown, screaming, “Mommy! I won! I was the new kid on the block. I knew I could spell because I didn’t always understand the various dialects spoken by my family, my babysitters and the natives. We are a melting pot of races. So, I mastered spelling. I had to show my team as their captain that I was a winner with words. I was going to be crowned the best of the best. It was the only way to stroll to the “head of the class.” Every student before me was stuck, falling to the wayside. My tapping feet were jumping for joy. I struggled to contain my hands. My eyes  stared straight ahead at my competitor. The other captain was smart, like me. But, I knew she was going down for the count. I was on a serious

mission. I would be declared the one and only winner, once and for all. My brain raced as I strolled down memory lane. I felt  my blood rushing to my head. I knew that word existed in my gut. I chewed it to the bare bones to get to the delicious marrow. I raised it, since it was a teen weenie baby. I killed it, every time they made me do it in front of the entire clan of bookworms. My brilliant older cousins attended Yale, Vassar, and Grambling. Competition was in my blood. I slaughtered it with my bare hands for all to see, old and young applauded. Once, I tried to cook it for my Grandfather Miles. I savored it as if it was my last meal. I relished every drop of it. I licked my fingers each time it was served by my mommy, Mary Jane, a professional cook. She loved hearing me spell everything. I smelled it before I got to the front door. I counted each piece, measuring which one is the better, dark or white, big or small. It didn’t matter. I wanted to fly with it. I knew that word. I had dreams about it. Hmmm! I loved it, like no other. C-H-I-C-K-E-N WI 30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT March 29, 2012

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The Award Winning African American Newspaper Celebrating Our 47th Year of Service

The Washington Informer Congratulates our 30th Annual Washington Informer Spelling Bee Winner! First Place

Tuli Bennett-Bose

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School 7th Grade

We celebrate all of our finalists and everyone who helped make our 30th Annual Washington Informer Spelling Bee a huge success.

Kaya Henderson: "I was thrilled to be a part of an event that showcases our students skills and talents. DCPS is thriving, our students are on the rise - and we look forward to continuing this tradition of success."

The Bee will air on NBC 4 on Saturday April 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm The Washington Informer Thanks all of our 2012 partners for making this year special

Young design

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C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

30TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON INFORMER SPELLING BEE SUPPLEMENT


Washington Informer - Spelling Bee 2012