You can’t spell ‘excellence’ without SEF

Can the Rotary Club team, above with SEF executive board member Michelle LeBrun-Griffin, defend their title as the best spellers in town? The community spelling bee returns to the Southington High School auditorium on Thursday, April 20.



Southington Education Foundation (SEF) is holding their seventh annual community spelling bee in the Southington High School auditorium on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. The event is free, but SEF asks that attendees bring a nonperishable food item as a donation to Southington Community Services.

Teams of three spellers will compete in a fun setting, and SEF officials are encouraging costumes, themes, and mascots.

“We just want it to be light and a lot of fun,” said committee co-chair Donna Gilewski. “It is more about the Southington Education Foundation’s mission of helping to enhance the education of our students…than it is about the competition.”

Participants will write their words on a white board and confer with their teammates. There will be no microphone for participants.

Last year, The Rotary Club of Southington team, consisting of Kate Sirignano, Gloria Brown and Kris Noli, took home the trophy. This year, the spelling bee will convey bragging rights to the team that wins the coveted title of SEF Spelling Champion.

Teams made up of local citizens, politicians, businesses, educators, students, police, fire, and other public officials are already scheduled to compete. Participation is $100 per person or $300 per team, which will benefit Southington’s public school children.

“The proceeds from this event help to provide grant money to the teachers and school organizations such as the CyberKnights robotics team and others,” Gilewski said.

SEF member Steve Proffitt will serve as the “Bee Master” and judges will be Southington Public Schools Superintendent Timothy Connellan and SPS Language Arts Coordinator Stephanie Lawlor.

Although teams are primarily adults from the community, high school clubs and groups may also register for a lesser fee. Entry fees are fully tax deductible.

If unable to participate in this year’s spelling bee, donations to the SEF are always welcome. Since its inception in 2009, the Southington Education Foundation has awarded over $200,000 in grants. Money raised from the Spelling Bee will continue to support grant opportunities and the mission of the SEF.

To register a team or make a donation, visit For more information, contact Jan Galati at

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