Scripps Howard restructures National Spelling Bee

Tue, August 26, 1997 by Tim King

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee today announced a restructuring of its staff to better accommodate the program's continued growth and success.Reta Rose, Director of the Bee since June 1991, will become Director of Educational Services and Development and will focus on the scholastic aspects of the 69-year-old program which each year reaches 9 million students across the nation.Paige Pipkin, winner of the 1981 Bee and its Assistant Director since July 1991, will become Director of Business and Public Affairs. She will concentrate on expansion of the program and development of new services for local sponsors and their communities."The success of the Bee in recent years is a testimony to the skill and creativity of Reta Rose and Paige Pipkin," said Rich Boehne, Scripps Howard's vice president for corporate communications. “Through these more specialized duties for Reta and Paige we hope to take advantage of new opportunities to serve our local sponsors and the millions of students who strive for academic achievement through the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee."The Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee has raised its profile significantly under Rose’s and Pipkin’s leadership. The total number of students who participate each year now is well over 9 million. The months-long contest ends with 247 finalists who converge on the nation’s capital in May for the final rounds.In 1993, Rose and Pipkin instituted a new Bee tradition: a spelling bee for the parents of the national finalists.To enhance the educational applications of the Bee, Rose and Pipkin last year introduced a new word guide, “Paideia,” which groups words according to their academic disciplines and now is used in thousands of classrooms across the country.The Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee has an address in cyberspace. Found at, this Internet Web site is an interactive destination to challenge and educate spelling enthusiasts.Rose is a former middle school teacher of language arts and social studies. She taught for 10 years in classrooms in Ohio and Kentucky after receiving a bachelor’s degree in education from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Rose had been the Co-Director of the Bee from 1986 to 1991.She lives in Cold Spring, Ky., with her husband, Don.After winning the Bee, Pipkin was a staff volunteer for the national competition for eight years before being named Assistant Director in 1991. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Midwestern State University of Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1991.Scripps Howard, which has operated the National Spelling Bee since 1941, is the operating subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP). Scripps also operates nine television stations, daily newspapers in 16 markets, two television production companies, a licensing and syndication company, and a 24-hour cable television network.