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Registration remains open for city’s adult spelling bee

NORTHAMPTON — What do these words have in common: susurrus, platyrrhine, muliebrity, braggadocio?

They are the winning words from past years of the Northampton Education Foundation Adult Spelling Bee, gearing up for its 14th year Wednesday, March 26, at 6 p.m. at JFK Middle School.

The annual event includes competition among up to 40 three-person teams. There are also contests for best costume and most humorous costume.

It is not too late to form a team and find a local business or philanthropic-minded individual to serve as a sponsor. Visit the spelling bee section of the Northampton Education Foundation’s website for information about how to register or sponsor a team.

The list of words for the competition are prepared by a committee including local schools boosters Susan Rosen, Betsy Green and Karen Beyel.

Interim Superintendent Regina Nash will serve as a judge this year, and word pronouncers will be University of Massachusetss professors Joe Bartolomeo and Jarice Hanson as well as Chris Rohmann, actor and radio commentator who is a member of the adjunct faculty of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School.

Also this year, Betsy Barrone, longtime NEF board member and volunteer, will be honored as the word wizard, tossing out the first word.

City resident Jeanne Hoose is principal organizer. Steve Hinks, music teacher at JFK MIddle School will provide music and Holly Bowyer, a local photographer, will donate her time to photograph teams and the bee.

The Northampton Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization created to fund projects and programs that expand educational opportunities, foster creativity, and enhance academic experiences in Northampton’s public schools.

Funds from the Spelling Bee support Small Grants for Teachers program. Last year, NEF awarded $43,288 for creative and innovative grants written by the teachers, administrators, and parents in the Northampton Public Schools.

Since 1991, NEF has awarded more than 100 grants totaling over $500,000 to teachers in every public school in the city for programs in virtually every program area offered in the city’s schools.

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