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Foundation for Belmont Education Spelling Bee Raises more than $20K

FBE Mascot and Speller The word “chauffeur” may seem like an ordinary word to some, but at the 17th annual Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE) Spelling Bee held on November 4, it gained the distinction of being the winning word. The team that won by spelling the word correctly is “The Spelling Pandas”, comprised of sixth graders Julia Luber, Vivian Tao, and Subi Upadhyay. The runner-up team is “Give Bees a Chance”, comprised of sixth graders Maura Clark, Hannah S. Insanic, Daria Manela, and Cindy Wei.

Spelling Bee Participants More than 700 students, from kindergarten through grade 6, participated in the event, which raised more than $20,000 for the Foundation for Belmont Education (FBE). All spellers receive a gift for participating in the Bee. The winners of the competitive Swarms receive a trophy and a $100 monetary prize from Belmont Savings Bank, and runners-up receive a $25 gift certificate from Belmont Books.

Spellers in the Final Round The K-4 swarms, as the teams are called, are non-competitive, and grade 5 and 6 swarms are competitive. Word lists are available to participants to review at home and with their team. On the day of the Bee, the teams are given words from the list to write on a team whiteboard. Encouraged to dress to show team spirit and come up with creative swarm names, the participants did not disappoint, with swarm names such as Spell-jitzu, Reese’s Beezy’s, The ZomBees, and Give Bees a Chance, to name a few.

The evening’s hosts were Chenery Principal Michael McAllister, Butler Elementary School Grade 4 teacher Justin Chiu, and Instrumental Music Instructor for Belmont Public Schools John McLellan. The Panel was comprised of School Committee Members and other local FBE supporters.

The Spelling Pandas, winners of the 2017 FBE Spelling Bee FBE Bee Co-Chairs, Laurie Bufano and Barbara Bulfoni, thank everyone involved who helped make this year’s Bee a success, “We are very grateful for our amazing Bee Team, their countless hours of thoughtful preparation, and the energy and support all day Saturday, made it possible,” says Bufano.  “Thank you to our cast of celebrity hosts, panelists and guest speakers, the Belmont Public Schools, Chenery staff, parents, volunteers, community members, and the FBE’ sponsors and donors. Together we are making a difference in the Belmont Public Schools.”


Laurie Graham, Former Chair, Belmont School Committee
Anne Mahon, Realtor, RE/MAX Leading Edge

Joanna Tzouvelis, Senior Multimedia Journalist, Wicked Local Belmont, Belmont Citizen Herald; and Realtor, Century 21 Adams Lawndale

Catherine Bowen, Belmont School Committee
Mary Carter, Community Services Librarian, Belmont Public Library
Jessie Bennett, Past Co-President, Burbank Elementary PTA


Bee Keeper Sponsors:
Century 21 Adams Lawndale
Orthodontics of Cambridge

FBE Investors in Education:
Belmont Savings Bank Foundation
Belmont Orthodontics and Belmont Pediatric Dentistry
Belmont Smiles and Pediatric Dental Arts
Bennett Family Eye Care

Cityside Subaru
Dental Restorative Group
Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty
Greater Boston Orthodontics
LightWire, Inc.


BHS students Perry Sullivan and Sam Thompson

FBE Mascot and Speller  Spellers in the Final Round  Spelling Bee Participants  Kindergarten Spelling Bee Participants  The Spelling Pandas, winners of the 2017 FBE Spelling Bee  Belmont Police Officer Horan and the Spelling Bee Mascot  Kindergarten and First Grade Spelling Bee Swarm  Kindergarten and First Grade Spellers