West Austin Chamber of Commerce to Host Citywide Scripps Regional Spelling Bee



Chamber—and CommunityBuzzing With Excitement

Austin, Texas, November 28, 2017–The West Austin Chamber of Commerce is buzzing with excitement! In conjunction with the Scripps National Spelling Bee program, the chamber has announced that it will produce and host the 2018 Austin Regional Spelling Bee to be held on Sunday, March 25th, 2018 at the ZACH Topfer Theatre.

The event will feature 40-50 of the area’s top student spellers, grades 4th-8th, from Austin and 10 surrounding counties: Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Milam, Travis and Williamson.

Participants will be determined by local level bees run through schools in the 10 county zone—an area encompassing 614 public schools and thousands of students. The West Austin Chamber Austin Spelling Bee program is open to public and private school students as well as homeschooled children.

The Austin Regional Spelling Bee will crown one winner who will be guaranteed participation in and an all-expense paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington DC in June 2018.

“We are so excited to bring the Austin Regional Spelling bee to the students, families and community members in and around Austin,” said Morgan Briscoe, President of the West Austin Chamber of Commerce. “The amount of talent among area students is incredible and we look forward to showcasing them on stage and beyond as part of the beloved Scripps program.  This event falls in perfect alignment with our mission of supporting the next generation of area business leaders, we look forward to creating a long-standing tradition of our own.”

Prior to 2018, winners from this territory had to travel to Houston to participate for a chance to advance to the National Bee. According to the Scripps National Spelling bee organization, Austin was one of the largest markets without its own bee, and a market that they had been hoping to foster for quite some time.

Inspiration for the Bee was provided to the West Austin Chamber of Commerce by local Leander ISD student and 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee Co-Champion, Nihar Janga. In early 2017, Janga and his father Narayana Janga mentioned the lack a local bee sponsor to their neighbor, Linda Vezina. Vezina is Membership Director for the West Austin Chamber of Commerce and was intrigued by opportunities that the event provided for the fast-growing organization. Vezina and staff began exploring the opportunity with Scripps and the partnership was signed into effect in June 2017.

The buzz has been building since.

Nihar Janga says; “This is a dream come true for many Austin area kids. I am very happy that an Austin champion can now go to Scripps Nationals directly. The Austin area is very competitive and the winner of the region truly deserves to go to the awesome “Bee Week” in DC. I would like to congratulate the West Austin Chamber of Commerce on making this happen and wish them a great first year!”

The West Austin Chamber of Commerce is currently looking for area businesses to partner with them on this project as sponsors and event participants.  “From Title to Travel Sponsor, we have an opportunity for you,” says Briscoe.  “As a non-profit organization, we rely on our community and partner organizations to help make this event the experience of a lifetime for our spectacular bee. We need lots of worker bees to make this event come to life! ”

Want to know how to P-A-R-T-C-I-P-A-T-E?

Deadline for school enrollment for this year’s program is December 15th.  Schools and students can enroll to participate online at www.spellingbee.com

More I-N-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N about the Austin Spelling Bee can be found online at: www.austinspellingbee.com

About the West Austin Chamber of Commerce:
The West Austin Chamber of Commerce exists to strengthen and improve the West Austin Chamber business community in order to promote the economic well-being of all citizens.  As part of this mission, we work to provide opportunities to educate and to advance the future generation of local business leaders.  The chamber is a member-driven non-profit organization and hosts a variety of member-focused and community events including the annual Summer Camp Fair and Health and Wellness Fair.

About the Scripps National Spelling Bee:
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all of their lives.


Austin Spelling Bee Press Release PDF