On November 17, 2018 the Concept School network came together in Chicago to compete against each other in our final annual Spelling Bee.  This year’s theme was Rhyme & Reason It’s Spelling Season.  In addition, to the Bee our students were able to take a bus tour and see the many sites that Chicago has to offer.

So much hard work and preparation goes into making this happen, especially at the school level where coaches and teachers nurture and guide our students. We often hear, why a Spelling Bee?  The truth is, it is not directly about spelling as much as it is the opportunity for our students to practice speaking and listening skills. Exceptional teachers know that when our young people develop stronger vocabulary, they learn better.  That is why they embed speaking and listening in their content area learning situations.

The Spelling Bee event is intended to improve social relationship as students talk about fears and anxieties to become more confident in their attitudes and we saw this on full display this year.


Congratulations to all the students who participated and especially this year’s winners:

3-5th Grade


1st Place Individual, Destiny Hogan – HSA Lorain

2nd Place Individual, Tremeira Childs – Milwaukee Math and Science Academy

3rd Place Individual, Jayden Humbert – HSA Youngstown


1st Place Team Tie, Noble Academy Cleveland/Michigan Math and Science Academy Dequindre

2nd Place Team Tie, HSA Lorain and Gateway Science Academy South

3rd Place Team, Milwaukee Math and Science Academy


6-8th Grade


1st Place Individual Tie, Ayoub Dil – Noble Academy Columbus & George Williams III, Noble Academy Cleveland

2nd Place Individual, Maura Cardwell – GSA Fyler

3rd Place Individual, Marcus Carbon – HSA Youngstown


1st Place Team, Noble Cleveland

2nd Place Team, Noble Columbus

3rd Place Team, GSA Fyler




Download and print poster for your school:


Once you have had your local spelling be, enroll your winners for Chicago:


Concept English Spelling Bee is November 17, 2018 

University of Illinois Chicago Student Center

THEME:  Rhyme & Reason It’s Spelling Season

Spelling Bee Idea Bank 2018/2019

Each year students compete in 3-5 & 6-8 categories for 1st prize ($100), 2nd ($75), and 3rd ($50) respectively.

Each school has a designated Coordinator responsible for promoting and coordinating the local school bee and then registering students for Chicago on November 17th.

CMSA – Kameo Thompson & Laura Crook, crook@cmasonline.net and kameo@cmsaonline.net

GSA Smiley – Jody Shaffer, jshaffer@gsastl.org

GSA Fyler – Stephanie Lenhardt, slenhardt@gsastl.org

HSA Belmont – Heather Petrella, petrella@hsabelmont.org

HSA Cincinatti – Sandra Felicies, sfelicies@horizoncincy.org

HSA Columbus – Jillian Jarvis, jarvis@horizoncolumbus.org

HSA Columbus Middle – Rachel Whitman whitman@horizoncolumbus.org

HSA Dayton Elementary – Danielle Back, dback@horizondayton.org

HSA Dayton Downtown – Susan Becker, s.becker@horizondayton.org

HSA Lorain – Holly Miller, miller@horizonlorain.org

HSA McKinley Park – Alexandra Bernard, bernard@hsamckinley.org

HSA Southwest – Jennifer Basso, basso@hsaswchicago.org

HSA Springfield – Melissa Brown, m.brown@horizonspringfield.org

HSA Youngstown –  Alyson Salmen, salmen@horizonyoungstown.org

IMSA North, Lacey Lawson, lawson@imsaindy.org

IMSA West, Alicia Jones, ajones@imsaindy.org

MMSA – Ashley Ellis, alegler@mmsacademy.org

MMSA Elementary Lorraine – Sarah Cilluffo, cilluffo@mmsaonline.org

MMSA – Tyesha Bowens, bowens@mmsaonline.org

Noble Cleveland – Raebecca Butina, butina@noblecleveland.org

Noble Columbus – Katie Smith, smith@noblecolumbus.org

Past Spelling Bees

Bee Bold, Brave, Brilliant: 2017 Spelling Bee

Concept Schools’ Annual Spelling Bee was held on November 11th in the University of Illinois at Chicago student center.  This year’s theme Bee Bold, Brave, and Brilliant proved to be the case with some fierce competition.  On behalf of Concept Schools, we thank everyone who contributed extra time and effort in to hosting your local spelling bees and arranging for your student winners to come to Chicago to compete in our network event.  Following the list of winners is a video and photographs from our wonderful event.

A hearty congratulations to both the individual and team winners.  May you all be pleased and proud of your accomplishments.

6-8 Individual Winners

3rd Place – Edmund Dyer-Essig – HSA Springfield

2nd Place – Bedri Parlar – Noble Academy Columbus

1st Place – Victory Sampson – IMSA North

6-8 Team Winners

3rd Place – HSA Springfield

2nd Place – Noble Academy Columbus

1st Place – IMSA North

3-5 Individual Winners

3rd Place – Esad Gurbuz – HSA Lorain

2nd Place – Jawad Chowdhury – MMSA Michigan

1st Place – Christian Apollo – GSA Smiley

3-5 Team Winners

3rd Place – HSA Lorain

2nd Place – MMSA Michigan

1st Place – GSA Smiley 




2017 Concept Schools’ Spelling Bee is November 11th

Bee Bold, Brave, Brilliant

University of Illinois at Chicago

Student Center

750 South Halsted Street

Chicago, IL   60607

We hope you will take the time to prepare your students, hold your local competitions, and bring your winners to compete.  Concept Schools’ offers a variety of special events that provide our students with the opportunity to speak in front of a live audience.  The Spelling Bee allows our students to learn and spell new words, but also the opportunity to build confidence and self esteem. 

Important Dates:

  • September 15 – November 1st: Register for the Chicago Spelling Bee
  • Saturday, November 11th: Concept Schools’ Spelling Bee


Basic Information:

  • Click on the poster below to download and print. 
  • The Chicago spelling bee is divided into two group competitions, 3rd -5th grade division and the 6th-8th grade division.
  • Each school may send one first place and one second place winner from each division (3rd-5th) and (6th-8th). Your alternate may attend the spelling bee but does not participate (unless one of your 1st or 2nd place winners care unable to compete).
  • You must register names/information of your school’s division winners (1st and 2nd place winners) and one alternate. Please use the Google Doc form to register your winners by Wednesday, November 1st.


Online Registration Form:

Spelling Bee 2017 Registration Form

  • Travel and lodging is up to each school to arrange individually.
  • Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m.
  • More details related to the Chicago event will be forthcoming and posted on the Concept English website: http://english.conceptschools.org/

For questions or information, contact Andy Flaherty at aflaherty@conceptschools.org

Local Spelling Bee Ideas

Use the PDF’s for 3rd-5th and 6th-8th grade called “The Spelling Bee Toolbox” from Ann Fisher (a vendor who Concept Schools regularly uses for their word lists.) Here is a link to a Google Drive. Please note that these are “practice lists” and not the actual lists that will be used for our network bee. 

Suggestions to prepare your students for our competition:

  1. Competitions. Set a start time and, if you open it up to other schools in your area, stick to your start time with no exceptions.
  2. Order of Spellers. Have students line up in alphabetical order by grade level. Progress from 3rd through 5th, and then 6th through 8th.
  3. Student Numbers. Students are in alphabetical order and the first last name with letter A would be 1.  For example, 301 for 3rd grade, 401 for 4th grade, etc.
  4. Awards. In your school based spelling bees, have a 1st  place champion and a 2nd place runner up for each division.  Those two students will represent your school in Chicago.  You may also determine an alternate/3rd place winner who may also attend in Chicago as an alternative.  The alternate will only participate if either your 1st or 2nd place winner in that division cannot compete.
  5. Some additional resources for spelling words:


Idea Bank for School Programs and Classroom Instruction. See Google Drive.

Shout out to Ms. Petrella at HSA Belmont who has used this year’s theme and created her local competition.

I woke up the next morning, thinking about those words – immensely proud to realize that not only had I written so much at one time, but I’d written words that I never knew were in the world.  

Malcolm X