Annual Reaching Heights Adult Spelling Bee planned for April 15

Teams will compete for the coveted plastic bee trophy.

How well can you spell? You are invited to come and find out at the Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee. The 24th annual edition of this campy yet competitive community event takes place April 15 at 7 p.m. at Cleveland Heights High School. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Unlike the youth version, this spelling bee is a team event. Three spellers work together to write down the letters in the word given to them, and then send a teammate to the microphone to read out the team’s best guess. Teams are encouraged to dress in costumes that represent their company, school or organization, or other fun themes. This year the organizers look forward to welcoming returning competitors such as the Ms. Spellers (Roxboro Elementary and Middle school PTAs), the Episco-spellians (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church), and Upper Case (Case Western Reserve University), who come to this seriously fun competition dressed in graduation caps and gowns.

This annual collaborative event helps support Reaching Heights programming for public education. Each three-member team pays a $500 entrance fee and is encouraged to solicit additional support from friends, neighbors and co-workers to win the title of Fundraising Champion, a title held for more than 10 years by the Upper Case team of professors.

On the evening of the bee, Alvin Saafir will be honored with this year’s Friend of Public Education Award. A longtime advocate of the CH-UH schools, Saafir served on the team that led Issue 81, the successful facilities bond campaign. Saafir currently serves as the operating levy co-chair and was a Reaching Heights board member and treasurer for three years. He and his wife are parents of three Heights High graduates.

The Cleveland Orchestra boasts the Bee’s most successful team. OOPS, short for Orchestral Orthographers Prognosticate Success, was co-champion in 2010 and 2012, and sole champ in 2006 and 2007. The Know Knothings, representing the Cleveland Heights High School PTA, are the defending champions. They won the 2014 Bee with the word, “dieffenbachia.” The winning team receives a prize package and has its team name engraved on the coveted big plastic bee trophy. There is also a sweet prize and trophy for the Best Cheering Section. Join in the fun, invite others to come and cheer on your team, win a raffle prize, learn a ton of new words, and support Reaching Heights.

For more information about Reaching Heights, and this event, visit

Lisa Hunt

Lisa M. Hunt is assistant director of Reaching Heights, a graduate of CSU, and proud mother of two CH-UH students, Brycen and Jordan. She believes in the city of Cleveland Heights.  

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:15 AM, 03.24.2015