Your final word is franchise, spell franchise, f-r-a-n-c-h-i-s-e, “franchise”. This was the last few phrases of the annual Yorkville School spelling bee held Thursday, January 28. 8th grader Henry Hansen ended up spelling 14 words correctly to be named the school champion.

Yorkville students continued the tradition of participating in the school spelling bee. Students in grades 4th through 8th hold classroom competitions with the final four contestants plus one alternate per grade moving on to the school bee. Yorkville participates in the Scripps National Spelling Bee program. Students have the opportunity to master their school, regional, and state bee before being selected to participate in the national bee this May in Washington DC.

Henry Hansen

The spelling bee format took the necessary pandemic precautions in order to allow students to participate in person. The judges moved from student to student instead of the traditional speller moving up to a shared microphone to spell their word. Yorkville School still has a limited visitor policy so the school streamed the event to allow suspenseful parents to watch. “We had to do some things differently this year, but it was nice to give students the opportunity to participate and celebrate academic excellence,” said district superintendent Jeff Peterson who coordinated the school bee.

Winner Henry Hansen’s mother, Gretchen, who was watching the competition via the streamed school YouTube channel drove to the school immediately after the bee to congratulate Henry outside of school. She said that even Henry’s grandparents up north were able to watch the spelling bee.
Runners up included 8th grader Ben Sendelbach and 6th grader Austin Polzin.

Last year the Scripps National Spelling Bee was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This year’s bee will be held virtually. Yorkville winners are given a certificate and have their name engraved on a school plaque.


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