Chagrin Falls School News
March 28, 2024 by Staff Report

Gurney Elementary School held its second annual spelling bee on March 21, with students from second- and third-grade participating...

Spelling Bee Champions Crowned

Gurney Elementary School held its second annual spelling bee on March 21, with students from second- and third-grade participating. Classroom bees took place during the last week of February, where a winner and runner-up were determined in each room, earning them a spot in the school-wide spelling bee and a certificate. All classroom bee participants received a special spelling bee Chromebook or water bottle sticker, designed by Molly Klodor, the district technology coach and made by David Kimball from the Innovation Lab.

A total of 24 students took part in the school-wide spelling bee, having studied and practiced extensively for the event. The bee was held in the gym. Mary Czerr, the school librarian, hosted the event dressed in a handmade bee costume and sharing bee-themed jokes between rounds. Christopher Englehart, the Spanish teacher, and Dale Tschappat, the school counselor, announced the words, while Ellen Jones, a second-grade teacher, and Courtney Mooney, the reading intervention teacher, led the bee.

After an exciting competition, Wren Lytle, a third-grader from Brian Ritz’s class emerged as the winner, with Coco Cottone, a second-grader from Ellen Jones’ class, as the runner-up.

“I practiced every night and was so excited when I won,” expressed Lytle. “The Spelling Bee was easier this year because I saw the words in books that I have read.”

Assistant Principal Sarah Read added, “When we try things that are hard for us or make us nervous, we learn and grow. Dr. Jones and I are very proud of all of our students who participated in this year’s Spelling Bee. It takes a ton of courage to get up there in front of everyone, and we know how hard they prepared. We were impressed through each and every round of the competition.”

A special thank you was extended to middle school teacher Matt Volk and middle school student Milo Quintin for their collaboration in designing and making the medals and t-shirts for the event. The spelling bee truly highlighted the #CFTogether theme, with students and staff members from across the district working together to create a memorable learning experience for all.

Speech and Debate

Chagrin Falls High School had several students compete in the Ohio Speech and Debate Association’s State finals. The school sent five high school students to the state tournament on March 1-2. They included seniors James Wilkinson and Sofia Clark, juniors Claire Guddy and Fraya Brattebo and sophomore Rory Rohde. Of those students, Sofia Clark was a quarterfinalist in Original Oratory (top 24 in the state) and Fraya Brattebo was a semifinalist in United States Extemporaneous Speaking (top 12 in the state).

The following weekend, freshman Claire Rubin competed in the State Novice tournament in United States Extemporaneous speaking and placed second overall. This tournament is specifically for first year high school competitors and took place at the same venue as the middle school tournament.