There is a scene in the movie The Devil Wears Prada in which the aspiring journalist Andrea “Andy” Sachs (Anne Hathaway) who lands herself a job a fashion magazine scoffs at the concept of fashion. Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the magazine editor, proceeds to explain to her exactly how the sweater that Andy has on her back was hand-selected for her by the fashion industry. The scene came to mind after a recent conversation with headmaster and high school principal, Greg Reichert, about the annual spelling bee.
Recently students in second through eighth grades competed over the course of a week in the annual in-class spelling bees to determine the top three spellers in each classroom. The top three spellers advanced to the finals by division which were held on Thursday, January 23.
Scripps National Spelling Bee describes their purpose as, “Our purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.” The reason for the spelling bee at Everest is in line with this mission. While the skill of memorization as a building block of learning is certainly part of the benefit of spelling bee, Mr. Reichert spoke of several additional benefits Everest student receive from participating in the annual spelling bee. At the very basic level, the spelling bee exposes students to the basics of language and teaches them how to spell. They can begin to see patterns and rules as they learn the spellings of more and more words. He went on to highlight the discipline – both human and academic – required of the students to participate which is an essential part of the Integral Formation Everest offers its students. Ultimately, Mr. Reichert explained how many consider the English language to be a language of exception; however, the English is extremely rule-oriented. Through the exposure to and the studying of the spelling of words that come from a wide variety of languages and backgrounds, students can come to understand the beautiful diversity of the English language which fits into a very rule-oriented system.
This is the value the annual spelling offers to Everest students who participate. The English language – not unlike Andy Sach’s blue sweater – is not a product of chance. It is a language rich in culture and history which, when studied and understood, becomes knowledge and a skill Everest graduates will arm themselves with as they go on to tackle higher learning. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners listed below. The 5th-8th champion, Madelyn Krappmann, will advance to the Oakland Schools Scripps Regional Spelling Bee on February 29
3rd-4th Grade Division
1st place: Alejandro Gonzalvo
2nd Place: Olivia Rydesky
3rd Place tie: Emily Duhaime & Christian Abraham
Finalists: Isabella Bowden, Daniel Megala, Chaz Boyer, Aurora Gonzalvo, Mary McGrath, Sophia Arinez, Zekie Abraham, Vata Gjonaj, Adam Tibudan
5th-8th Grade Division
1st place: Madelyn Krappmann
2nd place: Erin Carr
3rd place: Sarah Bradley & Nicholas Salkowski
Finalists: Aviannah Cronin, Emmerson Phyle, Virginia Groves, Jinho Fantin, Mauricio Ramirez, James McGrath, Nina Tocco, Lilly Hamilton, Emily Smith, Zoe Abraham, Cameron Tong, Simon Engle, Hadley Pearce, Mercedes Arinez, Brooklyn Farnsworth, Marianne Mata-Aguilar, Christopher Desmet, Diego Juarez, Zachary Felix, Jack Villella, Alejandro Martinez, Parker Stalcup, Lucy Thewes, Caroline Beggs, Ravi Iyer, Diego Carrillo, Minjae Kim