Houston Matters

The 1st-Ever Houston Matters Spelling Bee

This Saturday (April 2, 2016), Houston Public Media will hold its annual Spelling Bee on TV 8, in which the area’s best 12-14 year old spellers will compete for a chance to represent the Houston region in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. For a (much, much shorter) preview of the competition, we pit Craig […]

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This Saturday (April 2, 2016), Houston Public Media will hold its annual Spelling Bee on TV 8, in which the area's best 12-14 year old spellers will compete for a chance to represent the Houston region in this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee.

For a (much, much shorter) preview of the competition, we pit Craig Cohen in a spelling bee of our own against champion speller Syamantak Payra. Back in 2014, Payra represented Houston and made it to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Now a high school sophomore at Clear Creek ISD, he presents workshops for would-be spelling bee contestants.

Joining them for the festivities are three of the many people involved in pulling off a regional bee: Connie Hill, Houston Public Media's spelling bee coordinator; Ernie Manouse, the host of the bee; and Dr. Richard Armstrong, an associate professor of classical studies at the University of Houston. When it comes time for a word to be spelled, someone has to pronounce it clearly and accurately to our region's young spellers. That’s Richard’s job.

MORE: How Winning the Spelling Bee Changed One Houstonian's Life (Houston Matters, March 28, 2014)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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