STEUBENVILLE - Organizers from area school districts met Monday afternoon to plan for the 2012 Jefferson-Harrison County Regional Spelling Bee and learned the Steubenville Rotary Club has agreed to make a major investment in this year's event.
"The Steubenville Rotary Club decided to be a major sponsor of the spelling bee because it came to our attention the Ohio Lottery dropped its funding for the spelling bee registration. Our club has decided to pick up that expense," announced Jim Emmerling, president of the Rotary Club.
The annual spelling bee also is sponsored by Eastern Gateway Community College and the Herald-Star.
EVENT PLANNERS — Representatives from area school districts held their initial planning meeting Monday for the Jefferson-Harrison County Regional Spelling Bee presented by Eastern Gateway Community College, the Steubenville Rotary Club and the Herald-Star. Among those taking part in the planning discussions were, seated, from left, Mary Barnes, Steubenville City Schools; Toni Jean Dondzila, Indian Creek Local District; Susan Nolan, Buckeye Local School District; MaryAnn Zeroski, bee pronouncer; and Marlene Wolf, Toronto City Schools: and standing, Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star; Jim Emmerling, president of the Steubenville Rotary Club; Joe Roshak, chairman of the spelling bee committee; Mary Ann Hoobler, Edison Local School District; Ron Sismondo, Jefferson County Educational Service Center; and Brent Ripley, Harrison Hills City School District.
"This is a joint partnership and we are very proud to have this opportunity. This is something we want to be part of. The decision to be a sponsor of the bee is representative of the Rotary Club mission," said Emmerling.
"This is for our children and for area academics. We try to be strong supporters of local academic endeavors," Emmerling added.
Participants in the bee, which is scheduled to be held at 1 p.m. on March 2 at Buckeye North Middle School in Brilliant, will be competing for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be part of Bee Week in Washington, D.C.
"We're pleased once again to be able to team with Eastern Gateway and this year with the Steubenville Rotary Club," said Ross Gallabrese, Herald-Star executive editor.
"We've had a great relationship with the staff at the Jefferson County Education Service Center, whose efforts make the program run smoothly. The addition of Eastern Gateway and the Steubenville Rotary Club is making our program even stronger."
The Herald-Star has sponsored the bee since its inception in the 1984-85 school year.
The Jefferson County Educational Service Center chairs and facilitates the committee, which oversees all bee-related activities, according to Chair Joseph Roshak.
The winner of the bee will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington to compete in the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.
All fifth- through eighth-grade pupils in Jefferson and Harrison counties will begin to prepare for the county bee by participating in room and building bees.
The top finishers in each of those bees advance to their school district bees. The top eight finishers in each of the district bees advance to the county bee. Two alternates also are named at each district bee.