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The Wanna-Bees reign at sixth annual spelling bee

Cheryl Pruett hugs Sharon Boyer, a retired Chautauqua Elementary School teacher, after she successfully spells “ichneumon,” winning the tournament for the team. At right is Ann Murray, their third team member. - John de Groen Photo
Cheryl Pruett hugs Sharon Boyer, a retired Chautauqua Elementary School teacher, after she successfully spells “ichneumon,” winning the tournament for the team. At right is Ann Murray, their third team member.
— image credit: John de Groen Photo

This year’s sixth annual spelling bee, though smaller than those in previous years, still had plenty of lively moments, lots of audience participation and a dramatic finish, said Barbara Gustafson, who organized the event.

Winning this year were the Wanna-Bees, a team sponsored by The Little House and comprised of Ann Murray, Sharon Boyer and Cheryl Pruett. The team claimed top honors when Boyer, a retired third-grade teacher, correctly spelling the word “ichneumon” (ik-noo-muhn), which means — appropriately enough at a spelling bee — a “wasp-like insect.”

The three women bested the Raining Queen Bees — winners of the contest for the last two years and who cleverly used “raining” rather than “reigning” to describe themselves. Three other teams also were in the final round, Gustafson said.

Meanwhile, Klara Shepherd, Sam Crosby and Rachel Taylor, teens who work at the Vashon Pharmacy and called themselves The Pharm Kids, took first place for their costumes — overalls, plaid shirts and large, black freckles dotting their cheeks.

The bee, a fundraiser for the Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation, often has two teams going toe-to-toe. This one — with fewer teams and a grand finale that had four teams going out at once — flew by, Gustafson said.

She was pleased by the number of high school students who participated — three teams in all — as well as the wide range of participants. What’s more, she said, she believes the scholarship foundation raised around $2,000 from the event. “It went wonderfully,” she said.

 

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