Can you spell nephelometric? The Dewey Decimators representing the Friends of the Heights Libraries can and did to win the Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee held on May 10, 2023. This team has won a total of seven Reaching Heights Bees and most of these victories belong to spellers Chris Mentrek and Victor Rosenberg. Fourteen teams representing the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus,
Friends of the Heights Library, the cities of Cleveland Heights, University Heights, and South Euclid, neighborhood groups, business districts and school PTA’s gathered for a silly yet serious spelling competition. Ahmaad Crump, Heights High Alum and Arena Host for the Cleveland Cavaliers, welcomed the teams to the stage with his dynamic voice and infectious enthusiasm. This set the cheery tone for a fun community event that raised $8,500 to support Reaching Heights’ Many Villages Tutoring and Role Models programs.
Twelve teams were still standing in Round 3, the always entertaining Musical Round. In this special round, a team can be forgiven for one spelling error if they sing the spelling of their word. The Cleveland Heights Demakratz Klubb spelled the word rhythm to the tune of “I’ve Got Rhythm”! They spelled it correctly and did not need to be forgiven for an error but the audience definitely enjoyed hearing them sing anyway.
The final two teams, community newcomers The Malaprops and the Dewey Decimators (Friends of Heights Library), valiantly spelled through seven rounds of difficult words. In Round 8, the Dewey Decimators, with spellers Victor Rosenberg and Chris Mentrek, won it all by correctly spelling nephelometric, which is an instrument for measuring the extent or degree of cloudiness. The Dewey Decimators defended their title as the Bee Champions and the plastic bee trophy will once again be displayed at the main library until next year’s competition.
Special thanks to all of the bee teams’ groupies who supported and cheered loudly. The Cleveland Heights Demakratz Klubb won the People’s Choice Award and the Cleveland Orchestra Women’s Chorus won the Top Team Donor award ($900). Steve Presser returned as the event Master of Ceremonies for his 28th Reaching Heights Spelling Bee. The calm and clear voiced Simona Mkrtschjan, did an outstanding job in her first Bee as the Pronouncer. Family Engagement Specialist for the CH-UH Schools, Lisa Hunt, Heights High Assistant Principal, Dr. Brandon Towns, and Coordinator of Safety and Security for the District, Ricky Watters supervised the competition as the VIP Bee Judges. A light-spirited, community building event was a refreshing way for all involved to spend an evening and raise funds to enrich students in the CH-UH public schools.