Forty-fifth annual Joplin Globe Spelling Bee scheduled for Monday

Mar. 8—Spelling champions from across the region will meet Monday to compete in the annual Joplin Globe Spelling Bee.

The bee will take place at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, 3401 Newman Road, in Joplin.

The Globe's Newspaper in Education Department is presenting the event, which is open to the public.

"This is the 45th year of the Joplin Globe Newspapers in Education spelling bee, and we are excited for a fun event," said Robin Phelan, the Globe's publisher.

Registration starts at 8 a.m. with a practice round scheduled to begin around 8:45 a.m. As the contest is expected to last a few hours, there will be an intermission with refreshments provided for the competitors.

Forty-six spellers, each the champion of their school, will compete in the bee. Students in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades were eligible to compete. Contestants come from as far away as Springfield, Northeast Oklahoma and Southeast Kansas. All participants will receive a trophy. First-, second- and third-place finishers will receive a larger champion's trophy.

Lia Wu, an English teacher at Thomas Jefferson, will serve as the spell master this year, providing a variety of challenging words for the contest. Andy Ostmeyer, editor of the Globe; Doug Spears, with TAMKO Building Products Inc.; and Lisa Brown, with the Joplin Public Library, will be the judges.

"We are so excited to be able to organize this event for our students in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas," said Daniel Kuhns, circulation manager and spelling bee coordinator. "The event would not be possible without our sponsor, TAMKO, and the use of the auditorium at Thomas Jefferson. This group of students has worked hard to study and prepare for the spelling bee, and it is truly amazing to watch the contestants' determination and efforts leading up to and during the competition."

Grayson Bruffet, from Thomas Jefferson, won last year's spelling bee after correctly spelling "colloquial" and "nystagmus."