McKINNEY – Ten teams sponsored by McKinney businesses and civic organizations competed last Thursday (Feb. 13, 2014) for the title of MEF Spelling Bee Champ as part of a fundraiser for the McKinney Education Foundation. After several rounds of increasingly difficult words, it was Scott Johnson Middle School’s A Tiger’s Way to Spell Tomes sponsored by Tomes Auto Group who emerged triumphant. Team members were English Teacher Melanie Corcoran, instruction specialist Beth Davis, and 6th Grade Spelling Bee Champ Maria Garcia. The MEF Spirit Stick went to the McKinney Police Department.

The additional 2014 Spelling Teams were: The Bee Arthurs sponsored by Torchmark Corporation (Mary McAndrew, Joe Paladino, Betsy McAndrew); A+ Orthographers sponsored by Academics Plus (Stephanie Talley, Zach Ennen, Eli Scott); Council Compis Mentis sponsored by City of McKinney (Mayor Brian Loughmiller, Mayor Pro Tem Travis Ussery, Deputy City Manager Jose Madrigal); Encore Wire Bee Team sponsored by Encore Wire Corporation (Brent Gray, Lea Jones, Tony Carver); McKinney Fire Department’s Red Hot & Reddy Ready sponsored by Developing Solutions (Dwayne Henderson, Jim Baroni, Andrew Barr); McKinney Police Department’s PeeDee Bees sponsored by Heritage Eye Center (Heather Moody, Natalie Holst, Dottie Rutledge); Independently Brilliant sponsored by Independent Bank (Robb Temple, Erin McCullough, Brandi Rose); McKinney ISD Spellalot sponsored by McKinney ISD (Paige Hanks, Deborah Sanchez, Amy Philmachack); Collin College Rotaract Vampires sponsored by McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club (Jackson Oliver, Anmol Motikar, Zachary Taylor).

Doug Kowalski emceed the Bee this year, while Sara Thomas (Square One Mortgage/Independent Bank), Lynda Swanner (MISD) and David Kelley (Nissan of McKinney) served as judges. Underwriters for the event were Torchmark Corporation (Master Bee Keeper), Independent Bank (Luncheon Sponsor) and Nissan of McKinney (Elimination Gong Sponsor). Table sponsors were: Torchmark Corporation, Harbor Insurance Agency/Nationwide Insurance, Clearspring Capital Group, Encore Wire Corporation, McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club, 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.

According to Edie Heinicke, MEF Executive Director, “This year’s Bee was another hit, and we are so grateful to everyone who took time to participate in the fun. We are especially thankful for all the local businesses and organizations who sponsored the fundraiser so generously. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.”


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. Contribute to the Mission: “To provide the highest quality of education in McKinney, Texas, our mission is to inspire students and teachers towards excellence in education. We envision a future where a passion for learning unleashes the full potential of our community.” For more information visit