Wellesley Spelling Bee: Team Butyraceous wins back-to-back titles

Team Butyraceous at Wellesley Spelling Bee 2011

Team Butyraceous and The Spellbinders, the final two teams in last night’s 22nd Annual Wellesley Spelling Bee, correctly spelled such words as myrmecology, chiffonade and ergot. The word “warison,” defined as a bugle call to attack, tripped up both teams as they competed for the Ruth Humphries trophy. Then the women of Team Butyraceous, which last year won on the word “ombrophilous,” pulled out its second straight victory by correctly spelling “irremeable,” offering no possibility of return for The Spellbinders.

The eventual winners —  Stacy Braatz Sarah Deschenes, Stephanie Sheps (shown above with emcee Mike Dowling) — have been taking part in the Bee since 2006 and came across the word “butyraceous” in their studies, so adopted it as a team name starting in 2008. This year, they were the first team to register. Post-victory, the team celebrated at Blue Ginger and got Ming Tsai’s personal congrats.

Back-to-back wins is not unprecedented at the Bee, as the Wellesley Green Team captured the title in 2007 and 2008, and a group of high school students won in 2005 as juniors and 2006 as seniors (see past winners). No team has won 3 straight…

The Bee is organized as a Wellesley Education Foundation fundraiser and monies raised go to support enrichment programs and materials for Wellesley Public Schools.

(Photos courtesy George Roberts)