The W will serve as host for county, state spelling bee

COLUMBUS, Miss. (PRESS RELEASE) – Mississippi University for Women will serve as the host for the Lowndes County Spelling Bee and the Mississippi Spelling Bee.

The Lowndes County Spelling Bee will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, while the Mississippi Spelling Bee will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12. Both events will be held in Rent Auditorium.

“The W is honored to have the opportunity to host the Lowndes County and the state spelling bees,” said Melinda Lowe, director of the Office of Outreach & Innovation and the coordinator of education for The W’s School of Education. “Competitions like these allow for young students to develop self-confidence, communication and public speaking, and the ability to thrive under pressure. Therefore, our goal at The W is to provide a supportive environment that will enable each contestant to shine on stage.”

The Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce (CLCC) and the CLCC Education Committee will run the Lowndes County Spelling Bee, which will feature 28 contestants from 13 schools. Due to COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines, the event won’t be open to the public. Each contestant will be allowed to have up to three guests attend the event.

“We are beyond thrilled for the opportunity to put on this event,” said Wilson Beck, director of the CLCC. “As many of you know, Mississippi was in danger of becoming the first state to not be represented on a national level for lack of a state sponsor. The CLCC’s Education Committee absolutely refused to let that happen. They are relentless, in the best sense of the word, and achieved the goal of saving the Bee for thousands of Mississippi children. The accomplishment of bringing the Mississippi Bee to Columbus is one for the books. I am so proud of everyone involved and look forward to hosting two amazing events.”

There are 35 Mississippi counties that represent 214 schools registered with the E.W. Scripps Company, which runs the Scripps National Spelling Bee, that could qualify for the state-level competition. The county bees are being held this month across the state to determine who will qualify for the state bee.

A final list of the contestants for the Mississippi Spelling Bee will be available later this month. WCBI will record the event for broadcast at a time to be announced. For more information about the state spelling bee, contact Dr. Lois Kappler at

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