The student news site of Roncalli High School

Roncalli Media

The student news site of Roncalli High School

Roncalli Media

The student news site of Roncalli High School

Roncalli Media

Stepping up

Kim Striby takes up the mantle of Spell Bowl coach

As the Spell Bowl season was drawing near, returning team members were anxious about who would be the new coach. When it appeared that no one had yet accepted the position, a couple members of the spelling club approached English and Psychology teacher Mrs. Kim Striby about the role, and she agreed.

“I feel like that’s a part of being here; if students want to do something, you need to find a way to help them do it,” Striby said.

After getting the team signed up, Striby held two days of practices each week, offering both morning and afternoon times so that everyone would have the ability to attend. She even worked with IT to set up Google quizzes with audio, despite the time-consuming process of creating them, so that the team could have extra practice in memorizing the spelling of 2200 words, especially if they were unable to make it to any practices in her classroom.

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“I certainly didn’t realize how much time it was going to take,” Striby said. “It wasn’t just arbitrarily picking words. I was trying to find the ones I thought [they] would stumble over.”

The lists and quizzes that Striby made significantly helped the members prepare for the upcoming competitions. Senior Erin McNulty, a new member who stepped in for a teammate that could not make it to State only weeks before the competition, describes how these materials benefitted her.

“As someone who joined last minute, she gave me a lot of resources to be prepared in a short amount of time,” McNulty said.

Striby’s fresh ideas contributing towards helping the team succeed was advantageous to all the members, even ones who had been part of the team for years. Junior Far Iang, who has been on the team since her freshman year, spoke about Striby’s work coaching the team.

“Mrs. Striby did great. She constantly asked us for help and even created Google Forms quizzes, which we’d never done before, to prepare for competitions. Mrs. Striby also created an organized binder for everyone, which included various packets concerning the spelling list. I appreciate her for being our coach,” Iang said.

Even though becoming the coach fed into a lot more of her schedule than she originally assumed, Striby notes how her overall experience practicing with the team and watching all the members compete was really enjoyable.

“It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. It was impressive watching how seriously [they] all took it, and that [they] really studied and [they] really wanted to do well,” Striby said. “It ended up being an honor for me and a blessing. It’s why you say yes.”

The team ended up placing third at State Finals with a score of 82/90 words spelled correctly, and now that the season is over, Striby plans on working harder at recruiting new members for the team.

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