The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Opinion

March 9, 2014

Scott Underwood: Spelling bee takes THB team effort

Regardless of whether you attended The Herald Bulletin's regional spelling bee Wednesday evening in the Anderson City Building auditorium, I hope you enjoyed our coverage of it.

It takes a team to put on a bee, and we've gotten some experience at it over the years.

Our director of distribution, Amy Winter, has been the bee coordinator the past several years. Amy is a great organizer, a no-nonsense type who knows how to get things done. She's the point of contact for the school champions (18 this year) who advance to our bee.

Barbie Jones, who plays a key role in The Herald Bulletin's marketing efforts, assisted Amy in publicizing the bee and keeping it running smoothly.

Herald Bulletin Publisher Henry Bird was the emcee Wednesday night. Henry, always a thoughtful host, has a way of making the spellers feel comfortable and engaging the audience.

Herald Bulletin Associate Editor Scott Miley and Kelly Hawes, who manages the newspaper design center in our newsroom, were the judges.

I had the honor of serving as pronouncer. I enjoy the role, though I can't help but feel a bit of responsibility for it whenever one of the participants misspells.

Our coverage team for the bee included reporter Zach Osowski; Photo Editor John Cleary; Content Editor Heather Bremer, who tweeted from the bee as it progressed, and Digital Editor Andy Knight, who shot and produced video.

Of course, the star of the show was Highland Middle School sixth-grader Tristan Hankins, who won the bee by correctly spelling "malformed" in the championship round.

As our spelling bee champion, Tristan will be taking his first trip (courtesy The Herald Bulletin) to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, beginning May 25.

Here's wishing Tristan the best of luck in D.C.!

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