Kyla Guru Makes Spelling a Family Affair
After her eighth grade brothers wins Caruso Spelling Bee, fourth grader Kyla Guru wins at South Park to make it a family sweep.
South Park Elementary School may have a unique Spelling Bee, but for the Guru family the results are the same.
Fourth grader Kyla Guru won the written spelling contest Friday with 22 points after 23 rounds. Her brother, Caruso Middle School eighth grade student Pranav Guru, won his school’s more traditional event Jan. 30.
Naomi Fischoff, a fifth grader, was second with 21 points. Kyla advances to the Sectional round Feb. 22 competing against schools from throughout southern Lake County. That event is also at South Park.
Each school is able to craft its own rules, according to Deerfield Public Schools District 109 Communications Director Cathy Kedjidjian. All other contests have a student stand at a microphone to spell a word. A wrong answer means elimination.
At South Park, students sit in cubicles on stage with paper and pencil as words are read and used in a sentence. They write the word on the paper and it is checked. They learn from judges if they are correct but they do not know how others are doing until it is over, according to Kedjidjian.
“The written bee more closely reflects how we spell in our everyday life,” South Park teacher Diane Near said. She is the school’s Spelling Bee coordinator.
The audience sees everything including a scoreboard so they know who is winning but the spellers do not.