Loudoun Valley High School English teacher Wes Dick took the champion’s title during Friday night’s Moose Scholarship Spelling Bee at Mountain View Elementary School.
Dick was the last participant standing in a field of two dozen teachers from Mountain View Elementary, Loudoun Valley and Woodgrove high schools and Blue Ridge and Harmony middle schools. Even Superintendent Edgar Hatrick joined in the effort to raise scholarship money for three former Mountain View students graduating high school this year.
Adding to the turn-the-table drama of the event, the words were selected by Mountain View fourth and fifth grade students who are their teachers putting them under the pressure of spelling in front of a crowd of peers. The list included traditional spelling bee words, along with some particularly challenging names from literary characters, video game references and Pokémon characters. For example, the Jungle Book’s “Mowgli” tripped up the superintendent.
Members of the Loudoun Valley team donned a Viking helmet during their turn at the microphone and that proved lucky for Dick who held off Blue Ridge Middle School’s Sandy Duke in the final round with word selected from a list of cities and towns. Dick correctly spelled “Gloucester.” Duke heard the error bell ring as she worked through “Albuquerque.” Dick then spelled “Culpeper” to take the title.