There are good spellers and then there are great spellers.

The Flower Power team of Sally Kruger, Bonny Sands and Gerard Van Belle proved they were the latter Thursday night when they spelled "tichorrhine" and "lampyrid" to win the 19th annual Mountain Spelling Bee.

It was the second year in a row on the winner's stand for Kruger and Sands and the first for Van Belle. The team is sponsored by Gail Lowe, CPA, and the bee is a fundraiser for The Literacy Center. Nearly 300 people attended the dinner at the High Country Conference Center and 10 teams were entered.

Flower Power outspelled runner-up Alien Nerdettes on the first two words in the final spell-off round of two -- Nerdettes misspelled tichorrhine, which is Greek-derived word for woolly rhinoceros. Lampyrid is a fancy word for glow-worm.

The Nerdettes, sponsored by Coast and Mountain Properties, correctly spelled "littoral,"  and other words spelled correctly included "antediluvian," "pancreatitis" and "soliloquy."

Winning the Spirit Award was the team from the Museum of the Northern Arizona and their supporters.

It was the last Mountain Spelling Bee for Carynn Davis, executive director of The Literacy Center. She will be leaving in July for Portland, Ore., and replaced by Ari Wilder.

The Literacy Center will hold an orientation session for new volunteer tutors on Saturday, May 16. To learn more, call the center at (928) 556-0313 or visit


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