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Dewey’s Decimators Win the 26th Reaching Heights Bee

April 27, 2017

In Round 7 there were 3 teams left on stage at the Reaching Heights Community Spelling Bee held on April 19, 2017 at Cleveland Heights High School. The Noble Queen Bees, representing teachers at Noble Elementary School; the Coventry Word Outlaws, representing Mac Back’s Books, Camp Firebird/Roosevelt, and the non-profits in the Coventry Building; and Dewey’s Decimators, representing the Friends of the Heights Libraries. Adorned in wide brimmed hats, sunglasses, and feather boas, the Noble Queen Bees misspelled “coprolalia.” Next the Coventry Word Outlaws dressed like outlaws in the old West with stuffed toy horses misspelled “apocope.” Dewey’s Decimators, with spellers Victor Rosenberg, Susan Beatty, and Chris Mentrek wearing green hard hats, won it all when they correctly spelled “inveigle,” which means to entice or win over by wiles.


The winning team received the Big Plastic Bee trophy to display proudly at the Main Library for a year, and each of the team members took home gift certificates to the Blossom Music Festival and Dewey’s Pizza on Lee Road. The Noble Teams’ fans won the Best Cheering Section Prize, and the Fundraising Champion again this year for collecting more than $1,000 was Upper Case, the team representing Case Western Reserve University.


The competition started strong with only four teams leaving the stage in the first 3 rounds. Seven teams took advantage of Round 3 - the Musical Round – by musically performing the spelling of their word which excused misspellings. Then 4 teams left the stage in Round 4, five in Round 5, and four more in Round 6 leaving 3 teams standing in the final round.

It was an exciting finish to a wonderful evening that included music from Broken Strings, a student violin duet that played during the Pre-Bee Spellers Dinner, the Heights High Marching Band drummers who led the parade of spellers into the auditorium, and the Heights High Barbershoppers who sang at the 4th Round break.

Steve Presser celebrated his 22nd year as the Master of Ceremonies, Nancy Levin, Director of Heights Libraries served as Pronouncer for the 7th year, and Steve Titchenal projected the words for the audience for his 24th year. Dr. Sandy Womack, Director of Principal Leadership and Development served as a Bee Judge along with Dr. Talisa Dixon, Superintendent of the CH-UH City School District, and Dr. Brian Jung, a parent of a Heights High student. 


Team sponsors included the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Cleveland Heights Jazzercisers, CLE Iphone Repair, New Heights Grill, and many individuals from Cleveland Heights and University Heights, including Nancy Dietrich who celebrated her 25th year as a speller in the Reaching Heights Bee. Board of Education members, City Council Members and staff of the City of Cleveland Heights. Friends of the Heights Libraries, Squire Patton Boggs LLC, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Forest Hill Church, and the Heights High, Noble, Fairfax, and Roxboro Elementary and Middle School PTAs all generously sponsored teams.


Reaching Heights expressed gratitude to the school district for use of space in Heights High and the services provided by the Stage Crew and custodial staff, and also to local businesses that provided food, paper goods, raffle baskets and winners’ prizes including: The Stone Oven, Zagara’s Marketplace, Heinens Fine Foods, Mitchells Ice Cream, the Cleveland Orchestra, Dewey’s Pizza, The Grog Shop, Big Fun, The Funny Times, Starbucks, and the Atma Center.


Reaching Heights is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to mobilize community resources to foster highly valued public schools that provide all Cleveland Heights-University Heights students a successful education. For more information, please visit the Reaching Heights website at or call 216-932-5110.



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