Leadership hosts Spelling Bee


Berkeley High School’s first annual Spelling Bee took place on Friday, April 12, 2024 in the Community Theater. It was hosted by the sophomore class leadership team, and offered a $100 cash prize to the victor. All the participants made a valiant effort, and freshman Violet Kessler won after spelling the final word “connoisseur.” 

“I’m actually very surprised. I did not think I would even come close (to winning), so it’s a very exciting surprise,” said Kessler, recounting the experience.

With 17 participants, the rules allowed for more flexibility compared to the typical rigidity of spelling bees, such as the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The judges were able to propose a do-over of a round after recognizing that words given in the same round were not at equal difficulty levels. Participants tackled words like “colloquial” and “proscenium,” and whoever verbally spelled them correctly was able to move into the final rounds. 

As the participants dwindled into single digit numbers, Kessler knocked out one word after another. “The excitement when you got a word right was really nice,” she said.

“I just did it for fun,” said freshman Linus Hohmeyer, who made it to the final rounds before misspelling liaison. “I thought it was spelled L -I -A -S -O -N but it was spelled L -I -A -I -S -O -N. So yeah, that was the hardest word.” 

The Spelling Bee was full of welcoming and supportive people, making it a great atmosphere for a friendly competition. “I got to meet some people that I sat next to, and that was pretty fun,” said Hohmeyer.

Sophomore class president Sofia Bloom spoke about the inspiration for the Spelling Bee, which she credited to the leadership team. “We were brainstorming events that we think people would actually like to take part in. Eliza (McGlashin), the senior class president, was like ‘you should do a spelling bee’ … and we did it,” said Bloom.

The Spelling Bee may have been relatively small-scale, but BHS leadership hopes to grow the event into a popular tradition.

“It (was) fun seeing all of these people I’ve never met before compete and spell words,” Bloom said. “It was pretty enjoyable to watch.” 

Editor’s note: Violet Kessler creates the crossword for the Jacket, but was not involved in the writing or publication of this article.