Something was a buzz this past Monday Night, February 27 when the Callaway Conference Center hosted the 19th Annual CLCP spelling bee. Busy little bees packed the auditorium out and began preparing for spellers left and right to take the stage. Each and every year this event continues to grow and there are some incredible reasons for this, as the spelling bee each and every year is hosted with the mind set of spreading literacy awareness.
Since 2002, the Troup County Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP) has been working to promote and enhance the literacy in the State of Georgia. The CLCP wants everyone to know how important reading and literacy is state wide and how reading, learning, and growth are so very important to us as peoples. Throughout the year, they host many different events, including the spelling bee and the Leggin for Literacy 5K, and are a very active, important part of our community.
This year’s spelling bee was to be filled with excitement and craziness, an exceptionally quick bee as it were. Before that however, there was the introduction of the staff working the bee as well as the teams that would be competing this year. As always, Jack Morman hosted this year’s event as the EmBee. The pronouncer was Renae Willis, the bee bouncer was Carol Cain, and your judges were Mary Ann Keck and Zachary Taylor. This year’s time keeper was Ellen Parkhurst, the BEE guide was Joyce Ellis-Johnson, and the theme judges consisted of the CLCP Board members and the audience.
Then it was time for the introduction of the teams. First up was Batson-Cook/ LaGrange Academy with their team “To BEE or not to BEE” (Becky Brown, Ryan DeMarco, and Beth Tures). Calumet Bank’s team was the “Word Nerds” (Sheree McCurry, Roz Perdue, and Holt Redding). CB& T/LaGrange High School’s team was the “Grangers” (Jennifer Cochran, Jill Hyers, and Caitlin McDaniel). Charter Bank’s Team this year was the “Spell Checkers” (Tammy Brazil, Jeri Miles, and Tanesha Thrash). JSL Sustainers/LaGrange Memorial Library’s team this year was “Shhhhhhhh…) Marilyn Davis, Pepper Hagebak, and Darla Rance).
The Smith Design Group/ LaGrange College’s team this year was the “BEEspectacled Spectacle” (Preston James IV, Kevin Ludwick, and Arthur Robinson). The Troup County Medical Society’s team this year was “The Doctors” (Dr. Tom Gore, Dr. Jim Brennan, and Dr. Ashley Stewart). Troup High School, last year’s champions, were “Two Girls and a Guy” (Michelle Ashmore, Chance Giddens, and Kathy Kirby). Twin Cedars team this year was “Control AULT Delete” (NaToya Alford, Janice Brewer, and Jamie Daniel). Wellstar West GA Medical’s team this year was the “Lifesavers” (Teresa Amos, Tammy Fry, and Sarah Ludwick). Finally, West Georgia Technical College’s team this year was the “Nutty Professors” (Karen Carpenter, Donald Miller, and Susan Prestridge).
Before the bee got underway, there was a presentation of two awards. As is tradition, the 2017 CLCP Literacy Awards were given out to special individuals within the community that help with this promotion of literacy. This year’s awards went to the Troup High School Student Council and to Mrs. Stephanie Preston.
This year’s bee was a very quick affair. The teams started out strong, with no one dropping in the first round. Round two only brought a few casualties with it. However, round three saw the teams start dropping out like flies. With some strategic use of the “pass” option, the Doctors were able to knockout last year’s defending champs of two girls and a guy. However, the doctors would fall later that round. At the end of round three, only three teams were left, all of the other being bounced of stage with some clever zingers from the bee bouncer, Carol Cain. Finally in the end, the new champions were crowned in Calumet Bank’s “Word Nerds”.
Each and every year, Mrs. Debbie Burdette and her crew go above and beyond to promote literacy throughout this community. The spelling bee is only one example of all the incredible things that they do throughout the year in the name of helping people grow. Literacy and growth are how we continue to become the best versions of ourselves and we should be forever grateful to the CLCP team for helping us accomplish that goal.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer