ERLANGER, Ky. – After a five-year hiatus, the Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery in Villa Hills are ready to show whether they are superior spellers.
The sisters were champions of the annual Corporate Spelling Bee for Literacy in northern Kentucky for years before giving others a chance to win.
But now the nuns are back, even if they’re a little timid about challenging the reigning champions — a group of Boone County librarians.
“Librarians give us a scare,” said Sister Mary Carol Hellmann, who says she’s been brushing up on Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Spanish root words to prepare for the bee. Some of the other sisters say they use the Internet to practice.
Meanwhile, the librarians say victory won’t come easy now that the nuns are competing.
“They have that strong Latin background,” said Cindy Brown, director of the Boone County Library. Brown said her spelling team is made up of “voracious readers with a certain verbal attitude.”
The winners will be decided Thursday during the ninth annual bee, which is a fundraiser for a Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission program that helps adults with literacy skills. Twenty teams made up of adults from local businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations will participate.