Senior spelling bee champ crowned in Knoxville

Senior spelling bee champ crowned in Knoxville

0 Comments 📅July 14th, 2016, 15:25

At the National Senior Spelling Bee this past weekend, the 2016 national champion, Jim Sherry of Troy, Alabama, was crowned following the correct spelling of the final word of the day: bivouacking, meaning to stay in a temporary camp without cover.

Runner-up Phyllis Werness of Minneapolis, Minnesota, misspelled “Ghibelline,” a member of an aristocratic political party in medieval Italy. Ron Lewis of Houston, Texas, took third, and Kate Karp of Long Beach, California, rounded out the top four.

The 21st annual National Senior Spelling Bee brings word-lovers from across the country to Knoxville to compete for a national title. Knoxville has hosted the competition for the past three years, which is open to spellers ages 50 and older.

The National Senior Spelling Bee has been a labor of love for bee director, Scott Firebaugh. Firebaugh is a senior spelling bee champion himself and a former competitor at the then-called Scripps Howard Spelling Bee, now known as the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The spelling gene runs in the family and when his three daughters traveled to the Scripps’ bee, he became reengaged in the pastime.

In 2014, Firebaugh saved the senior spelling bee and brought it to Knoxville after a major national sponsor ended its support. We have enjoyed hosting this event, getting to know these amazing spellers and showcasing our city. Congratulations to the new national champion and all of the participants!

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