National Senior Spelling Bee  


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National Senior Spelling Bee Results
July 18, 2015, Knoxville, Tennessee

After the dust had settled (probably from a barchan), David Millard, 64, emerged as the winner of the 2015 National Senior Spelling Bee, held on July 18, 2015, in Knoxville, Tennessee, by correctly spelling barchan, which is a crescent-shaped sand dune with a convex side in the direction of the wind. Earlier in the competition, David had correctly spelled haram, bairn, pixilated, chrisom, susurrus, and basidiomycetous . David, who is a retired science and math teacher from Austin, Texas, earned a first-place prize of $1,000.

Jim Sherry of Troy, Alabama, finished second, going home with $500 for his efforts. He had battled David Millard for nine rounds before missing the word atabrine, a drug once used to treat malaria. Earlier, Jim had correctly spelled Danae, recension, dirndl, lucarne, minaudiere, and sycee.

Bernetta Gresko of Long Beach, California, finished in third place and earned $300. Bernetta had correctly spelled dybbukim, crannog, gaillardia, and blastocoelic before missing tabanid in the seventh round.

Ron Lewis of Missouri City, Texas, finished in fourth place, which was worth $200 in prize money. Ron had correctly spelled pirn, pupu, and trachytic before missing birkie in the sixth round.

The remaining finalists in the oral rounds were:

    5th (tie) Nancy Millard, Paul Erland
    7th (tie) Robert Stern, Barney Gallassio, Dennis Ready,
                  Roxie Bradley, Bunny Greenfield, Kate Karp
   13th (tie) Betty Bumgarner, Sharon Reedy, Sally Boyington,                   Dianna Lewis

Hats off to Scott Firebaugh for making this year's spelling bee happen. Thanks also to Lauren Matz for her superb job of pronouncing the words; Tony Johnson, Susan Firebaugh, and Vonda Jennings for serving as judges; and Willa Heart and Susan Firebaugh for registering the spellers and guests.

The top four finishers: David Millard, Jim Sherry, Bernetta Gresko, and Ron Lewis.

The top four finishers “fighting” over the plaque.

Kate Karp (left) and Dianna Lewis during the written test.

Lambs being led to the abattoir.

Barney Gallassio waits on his word during the oral rounds.

Reception on Friday night.

David Millard
David Millard
Austin, TX
1st Place - 2015

Jim Sherry
Jim Sherry
Troy, AL
2nd Place - 2015

Bernetta Gresko
Bernetta Gresko
Long Beach, CA
3rd Place - 2015

Ron Lewis
Ron Lewis
Missouri City, TX
4th Place - 2015