McKINNEY (Feb. 4, 2014) — It’s that time of year again. Contestants are brushing-up on their vocabulary and team “cheerleaders” (often sponsors, co-workers or family) are busy putting together plans to win the coveted MEF Spirit Stick. It’s what MEF Trustee, Randall Pogue, describes as, “Good fun, for a good cause! Otherwise known as the McKinney Education Foundation’s Annual Spelling Bee.”

The spelling talent was especially impressive last year, as Torchmark Corporation’s “Word Nerds” emerged as the 2013 Champions, but over the years, it’s become clear to participants that winning the MEF Spirit Stick is just as prestigious a prize. Last year, the Collin College Rotaract Vampires dressed in medical coats to promote their team (and their blood drive) and various team supporters wore clever T-shirts and decorated their tables to show their team spirit. Independent Bank – whose followers brought along a megaphone that mimicked police sirens – ultimately won the spirited award.

Doug Kowalski will be the emcee for this year’s Bee, and Sara Thomas (Independent Bank), Lynda Swanner (MISD), and David Kelley (Nissan of McKinney) will serve as judges. Underwriters of the event are Torchmark (Master Bee Keeper), Independent Bank (Luncheon Sponsor), and Nissan of McKinney (Elimination Gong Sponsor). Table sponsors include: Torchmark, Harbor Insurance Agency/Nationwide Insurance, Clearspring Capital Group, Encore, Heritage Eye Center, Sunrise Rotary, Independent Bank, Academics Plus, Tomes Auto Group, City of McKinney, MISD, Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd and Joplin, the Sperry Family, The Jennifer Potter Group, Institute for Healthy Families, LLC, Parker Operating Company, LLC, Developing Solutions, and Centaurus Financial, Inc.

The MEF Spelling Bee will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Eldorado Country Club on Thursday, Feb. 13. “It’s not too late to register a team, or to simply register yourself and your co-workers to join us for lunch,” stated Edie Heinicke, MEF Executive Director. “Individual tickets are only $30, and it’s the most fun you can have networking and raising money for a great cause.” Visit for details, or call Edie at 469-302-6313 to register.


About the McKinney Education Foundation

The McKinney Education Foundation (MEF) is a non-profit education foundation that serves four core functions: scholarships, college applications, teaching enrichment and alumni relations.  It was founded in 1991 to centralize, simplify and enhance the process of raising money for and awarding scholarships to deserving graduates of the McKinney Independent School District (MISD).  MEF employs professional college advisors in each high school who assist students in preparing for higher education admissions and identifying additional individual education funding. MEF also offers Classroom and Professional Development grants for MISD staff. For more information visit