The Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee was inaugurated in 1925 to help students master spelling, learn vocabulary, and improve their command of the English language. It is now a three-day event televised on ESPN with a $40,000 prize.
The National Spelling Bee uses the Merriam-Webster's dictionary as its official guide. The "Webster" of the title is the American lexicographer Noah Webster. A contemporary of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, Webster started out life as a schoolteacher and then a lawyer. He was not successful at either profession.
What he did excel at was writing. He effectively communicated to Congress and the public the importance of education for the new United States. During his brief stint as a schoolteacher, Webster had been appalled at the lack of textbooks or educated teachers in the schools he visited. Furthermore, in the 18th century, spelling was a creative and subjective affair. None other than the erudite Thomas Jefferson was known to have spelled "knowledge" as "knolege". A unified country, thought Webster, ought to have unified spelling. His first proposal was to make American spelling phonetic. "Machine", for instance, would be spelled "Masheen." Not all his suggestions stuck, but some changes, such as "color" for "colour", still differentiate American from British English.
In 1783 Webster completed a popular school spelling book, commonly called the "blue-backed speller" due to its blue cover. This book helped create standardize spelling education throughout America. In 1828, he published the first edition of his full dictionary. By writing the first definitive American dictionary, Noah Webster created the American phenomenon of the Spelling Bee. It has remained a staple of American schools, providing both academic competition and entertainment.
On Thursday January 31st at 3:20, JHCA held its 4th annual Spelling Bee. Paschall McDaniel (7th grade) out-spelled 2nd place contestant Winston Ochs (4th grade) by correctly spelling the words "miscreant" and "diabolical." Paschall will now compete at the Wyoming State Spelling Bee in late March for a chance to go to the National Spelling Bee from June 28th-30th.
Nondiscrimination Policy: Jackson Hole Classical Academy admits students of any gender, race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students. Jackson Hole Classical Academy does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, tuition assistance, athletic, arts or other school administrated programs.