Parkside team places 4th in spelling bee


On Friday, April 20, the Kenosha Literacy Council held their annual corporate spelling bee charity event, and the Ranger Bees—a team of four UW-Parkside students—entered the competition, placing fourth out of twelve teams. The event was held in Kenosha at the Italian American club which is located at the corner of 52nd Street and 22nd Avenue.

Competition for a cause

The Kenosha Literacy Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and teaching English literacy skills such as reading, writing and speaking to adults and families. It has helped educate the community since 1965. Most of what the organization does involves classes and tutoring, though they hold some fundraising events throughout the year.

The corporate spelling bee is one such event, and it has been held since 1999, making this latest spelling bee the 19th one held. The spelling bee is a good-natured, themed competition (the theme this year was Harry Potter) in which teams are tasked with correctly spelling words, and the loser is eliminated in each round until a winner is determined. It is called the corporate spelling bee because the teams consist of members of local businesses and organizations.

UW-Parkside was one of two Kenosha area colleges that had a team at the event as Gateway Technical College had a team of its own. Four students comprised the UW-Parkside team: Rachele Schwer, Kailee Dunker, Bianca Ruffolo, and Marcelo Hernandez. UW-Parkside students have participated in the past, but these four students took it upon themselves to organize a team for this year.

A positive experience

Kailee Dunker, a senior who is majoring in political science and liberal studies with a certificate in project management, wrote to the Ranger News regarding her experience via email. She wrote that she participated in the competition because “she always wanted to compete in a spelling bee” and she wanted “to challenge [herself] in a new way.”

Dunker did not know what to expect since it was her first spelling bee, but she said that she enjoyed the experience. In fact, she would like to participate again in the future, writing that she knows the UW-Parkside “team has the potential to place in the top three.” When asked if she would recommend participating in the spelling bee to other students, she wrote, “Yes, because it is a unique experience. I was surprised and impressed by the number of people in the community who came to support [the Kenosha Literacy Council].”

Until next year

Next year will mark the 20th year the competition has been held. Any UW-Parkside students who want to have a good time, a fun challenge and help out their community should consider participating next year. More details about the Kenosha Literacy Council, their mission and the corporate spelling bee can be found on their website at

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