||Michelle LeBrun-Griffin, SEF Co-Chair with the 2016 Champion SEF 'Spellers' -- The Rotary Club of Southington.
The Southington Education Foundation's Sixth Annual Community Spelling Bee, held April 26, was dedicated to beloved Southington educator, Joseph Cipollini. Mr. Cipollini, known as 'Cip' to his friends, colleagues and students was a spelling bee participant prior to his untimely death this past week.
Southington High School's world-ranked CyberKnights came to the stage next for a pre-event demonstration. The high school students skillfully maneuvered the robot 'High Fury' to catapult basketballs across the stage while Griffin Alix talked about robotics competitions. The 2016 England District Champions will compete at a national level in St. Louis at the end of April.
The Spelling Bee brought nearly 20 teams to Southington High School in hopes of bringing home the coveted spelling championship trophy. Teams representing a variety of community and high school groups were typically dressed in costume. The night was festive, admission was free, and the Southington Community Food Bank received much needed nonperishable donations. As a result, Southington Public School students will benefit from the event's $5,000 plus profit.
The Final Round came down to four teams: the 2015 championship Wanna Bees, the Rotary Club of Southington, the CyberKnights I, and the Thalberg Spellerz. The word 'sergeant' sent the defending 2015 champs back to their seats. The Thalberg team was the next to leave the stage when they incorrectly spelled 'titlist'. Now there were only two remaining teams: CyberKnights I and Rotary Club. The deciding word -- 'germane' -- sent the CyberKnights off stage. The Rotary Club of Southington, having come close to winning on previous occasions, was crowned the champion. In the end Kate Sirignano, Gloria Brown and Kris Noli took away bragging rights and a well-deserved trophy!
Stephen Proffitt served as Bee Master, a role he thoroughly appeared to enjoy. He kept the teams focused and entertained the audience with a few spelling word riddles. Proffitt acknowledged the efforts of the Spelling Bee committee and the supporters who came out to support education.