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Spelling bee highlights ABCs of McIntosh fundraiser

Spelling Bee. Those two simple words can cause even the most sophisticated adult to break out in a sweat, rekindling queasy feelings of angst and downright dread.

On Leap Day, Thursday, February 29 at 7 p.m. in the McIntosh High auditorium, eight teams of intrepid mortals will step onto the stage and bravely face their fears in a fun, fast-paced spelling bee for a good cause. Each team is comprised of a celebrity, a current MHS teacher, and a student.

There are three former NFL players (two of whom have Super Bowl rings), a handsome Marvel actor and stunt man, a Grammy-winning opera singer, a glass ceiling-shattering judge, an award-winning dancer, and a decorated retired Air Force general with a wicked sense of humor.

The spelling bee winning team's teacher and student receive $100 each, and the celebrity contestant receives $100 donation to their preferred charity, if permitted by law. The awards sponsor is Simos Solutions, and Lizard Thicket sponsored the new wireless buzzer equipment. There will be a small admission fee of $5 at the door for the spelling bee. Everyone in the McIntosh family and the Fayette County community is invited to come cheer on all of the spellers.

The bee is part of a wider event dubbed the ABC's of McIntosh (Art, Bee, Chiefs Concert & Choral). The art auction and Chiefs musical entertainment take place from 6-7 p.m. in the auditorium lobby and is open to the public for free. The art auction features over 20 works of art by talented McIntosh student artists. The Best in Show award will be presented to the highest-producing artwork, and the People's Choice award will be presented to the artwork receiving the most votes by attendees.

Perfectly complementing the art auction will be musical entertainment from the McIntosh Fine Arts department choral and concert student musicians.

The groundbreaking event – believed to be the first of its kind among local area school systems – will help raise money for the MHS Chiefs Foundation Inc, which was established in 2022 as a 501c3 public charity organization. The Foundation’s mission is to complement the endeavors of McIntosh High School in developing, improving, supporting, promoting, and sustaining the enrichment and enhancement of educational opportunities and programs for all MHS students. Check out the Foundation’s website at for more information, including social media links and information about the foundation scholarships which are currently accepting applications.


The eight spelling teams:

1. Super Bowl-winning Indianapolis Colts and Auburn wide receiver Devin Aromashodu, head football coach Derek Smith, and Hollis Davidson III, Chiefs starting wide receiver

2. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” & “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Jared Leland Gore, AP Statisyics teacher Arthur Walton, and Sage Shah, President of the Debate Team

3. Greater Georgia Air Show past Board of Director Brigadier General (ret) and MHS Hall of Fame inductee Emmanuel Haldopoulos, graphic arts teacher Lauren Bozone, and Anna Fortner, freshman phenom

4. Grammy-winning international opera singer and voice over artist Steven Humes, drama teacher Ken Buswell, and Thespian Society Co-President Max Thompson

5. Peachtree School of Dance owner/CEO and MHS Hall of Fame inductee Nichole Martin, journalism teacher Shanon Woolf, and Nyla Kërr, MHS Trail staff writer

6. Former NFL Minnesota Vikings Safety Mistral Raymond, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Leon Hammond, and Brooklyn Allen, competitive cheerleader and track athlete

7. Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens and University of Florida wide receiver Travis Taylor, AP Chemistry teacher and assistant football coach Rick Fontaine, and Maddox Dykeman, Chiefs defensive end

8. Magistrate Judge Kathy Valencia, AP US History teacher and SGA sponsor Jan Hansen, and SGA President Hyeonsu An


Posted 2/16/2024