Meet the Judges of the Great Hearts 2018 Spelling Bee

Great Hearts Academies January 23, 2018

The students have been preparing for the Great Hearts Spelling Bee for months. They’ve won the Bee at their own academy, and are headed to compete against all of the other champions from across the Great Hearts Network.

We’ve found a panel of judges who know a thing or two about writing and different ways to play with words. Meet Jared Cotter, Dave Hanson, Jimmy Rhoades, and Jenn Spantak.

Jared Cotter
Jared Cotter is a GRAMMY and EMMY award nominated songwriter and television host. After years of living the life of a struggling artist, the world was introduced to him during season 6 of “American Idol” and he never looked back. As a song writer, Jared has sold more than 20 million singles.

Jimmy Rhoades
For the first dozen years of his career, Jimmy Rhoades was a professional, touring comedian. As a broadcaster, Jimmy has won five Michigan Emmy Awards for writing, producing, and on-camera hosting. Jimmy’s passion is his non-profit pursuit, the Legacies Project, which trains high school and college students to videotape—over multiple visits—the oral histories of senior citizens in their communities.

Dave Hanson
Dave Hanson is the Managing Editor for The List, a syndicated TV show. Previous to that he’s written on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and Late Show With David Letterman. He loves to make mosaics from tile and glass, frequently showing his work and teaching at the Shemer Arts Center, but he mostly spends his free time thinking about his wife Alexis and his fluffy dogs Lambert and Dolly, about whom he is writing a series of children’s books.

Jenn Spantak
Jenn Spantak is the Communications Leader for the Chief Technology Office at Honeywell Aerospace. Prior to joining Honeywell, Jenn spent 8 years as a news producer at ABC15 in Phoenix. She is an Emmy award winning producer and has presented for Ragan Communications on Creative Writing. Her favorite word is “unique.”

The Great Hearts 2018 Spelling Bee will take place Tuesday, January 23rd inside the Lund Center at Great Hearts Lead Office at 5:30. We hope to see you there.

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