As you most likely have read in Thursday’s Brainerd Dispatch, I covered the Brainerd School District’s sixth through eighth grade spelling bee held at Forestview Middle School in Baxter. This year let’s hear it for seventh-grader Adam Kleist who won the bee. You gotta love Adam and his confidence! Adam had to spell “munchkin” and he instantly giggled at the word because he himself is short. I too had to giggle. I’m 5-foot-2-inch on a good day — OK so maybe not that tall — so I can appreciate the humor.
Anyway, this event has always been near and dear to my heart as it was my first assignment as a staff writer at the Brainerd Dispatch — 12 years ago. I have covered every single spelling bee since. It has been fun to see the students come and go and see how they’ve grown. Middle school students come in all sizes as they’re going through puberty. Some kids have to bend over to talk into the microphone at the podium when they spell their words and others have to be on their tip toes trying to reach the microphone. It’s cute! However, I’m sure the middle school students don’t find it cute. But it is all about growing up.
The other neat thing about covering the spelling bees has been that the spelling bee coordinator, Susan Rogers, also began coordinating the bee for 12 years ago. So we’ve been together “at the scene” every single year for 12 years and it has become our anniversary. Each year we remind each other that our anniversary is coming up, but we don’t exchange gifts.
So here’s to another anniversary and another student winning the bee. And there will be more anniversaries and students to celebrate in the future.