Leadership and Permanent Staff
Paige P. Kimble, director, is the 1981 champion and 1980 runner-up representing the El Paso Herald-Post. This is her 24th year with the program, having served eight years on staff, four years as assistant director, two years as a co-director, and ten years as director. Paige is an official spokesperson for the program.
Carolyn B. Andrews, word list manager, works full-time for the program from her home in Oliver Springs, Tennessee. Her son, Ned Andrews, won the 1994 national championship. She has worked for the program in various capacities since late 1994.
Corrie E. Loeffler, project manager, works full-time for the program from The E.W. Scripps Company’s corporate office. This is her first year on permanent staff after having served five years on crew and one year on staff. Corrie represented the Merced Sun-Star in the 1994, 1995, and 1996 national finals, tying for sixth place in 1995.
Cybelle L. Weeks, project manager, works full-time for the program from The E.W. Scripps Company’s corporate office. This is Cybelle’s tenth year of involvement with the program.
Janice S. Liebenberg, administrative assistant, works full-time for the program from The E.W. Scripps Company’s corporate office. This is Janice’s first year of involvement with the program.
Dr. Jacques A. Bailly, pronouncer, is the 1980 national champion representing the Rocky Mountain News. He is an associate professor of classics at the University of Vermont. This is his fifth year as pronouncer after having served 12 years as associate pronouncer.
Dr. Brian Mark Sietsema, associate pronouncer, is an ordained priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is currently serving a parish in Lansing, Michigan. After receiving a doctorate in linguistics in 1989, he was the pronunciation editor for Merriam-Webster from 1990 to 1998. This is Dr. Sietsema’s fifth year as associate pronouncer.
Mary Brooks, head judge, teaches at a West Des Moines, Iowa, junior high school and also serves as site coordinator for her school district’s Beginning Teacher Mentor Program. She has served the program in various capacities for the past 36 years, including 21 years as a judge and five years as a co-director.
Blake Giddens, judge, is the 1983 national champion representing the El Paso Herald-Post. He is a professional engineer for a civil engineering firm in Alexandria, Virginia. This is his seventh year as a judge after having served five years as auxiliary judge and four years on crew.
Dr. Sandra C. Harrell, judge, is the acting director of reading/language arts for grades K-12 for the Birmingham Public Schools in Alabama. This is her tenth year as a national finals judge.
Dr. Ed Low, judge, is a professor of English at the Metropolitan State College of Denver. This is Dr. Low’s 13th year as a judge for the national finals. He has served as a Rocky Mountain News spelling bee judge for 18 years.
Dr. Michelle M. Mehta, auxiliary judge, is a resident physician in psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Michelle represented the El Paso Herald-Post at the 1988 finals. This is her seventh year as auxiliary judge after having served seven years on crew.
Mark W. Kroeger, media liaison, is the director of communications and investor relations for The E.W. Scripps Company. Before joining Scripps’s corporate office in 1997 he was business editor and metro editor for the Evansville Courier in Indiana. Mark is an official spokesperson for the program.
James G. Lowe, word panelist, is a senior editor for Merriam-Webster in Springfield, Massachusetts. This is his 23rd year as a word panelist.
Barrie Trinkle, word panelist, is the 1973 national champion representing the Fort Worth Press. She is a freelance editor in Seattle, Washington. This is her 11th year as a word panelist.
Andy Andrews, technical representative, is an electrical engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oliver Springs, Tennessee.
Mark Bowen, photographer, is a professional freelance photographer in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ashley Brailsford, press desk, is an elementary teacher at Stanford Montessori School in Nashville, and is earning a masters degree in school administration from Vanderbilt University.
Craig Bucki, press desk, is an attorney specializing in civil litigation at Phillips Lytle LLP in Buffalo, New York. He represented the Buffalo News in the 1995 and 1996 national finals.
Lauren Darlington, press desk, is a television advertising account executive for WSTR in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Josh Doyle, press desk, is a second-year M.D./Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland. He represented the Chattanooga Times in the 1994 and 1995 national finals.
Paul Gilman, stage manager, is senior manager of human resources and collaborative systems for The E.W. Scripps Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Robyn Hildal, press desk manager, is director of staffing and diversity for The E.W. Scripps Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Tim King, writer, is director of employee communications for The E.W. Scripps Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ieesha McKinzie, press desk, is a third grade teacher in Atlanta, Georgia.
Bret Nealis, software consultant, is an independent computer software specialist in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Angela Zeroski Rose, stage manager, is senior manager of Internet and
e-commerce for The Kroger Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio. She represented the Herald-Star of Steubenville, Ohio, in the 1989 national finals.
Mike Rose, technical representative, is an applications specialist with the education and training department for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Sameer Soleja, press desk, is an information technology consultant in Houston, Texas. He represented Valley Freedom Newspapers in the 1993, 1994, and 1995 national finals, tying for sixth place in 1995.
Nancy Tretter, security coordinator, is manager of executive office administration for The E.W. Scripps Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Susan Vinson, VIP hostess, is manager of personal technology services for The E.W. Scripps Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Katherine Butschek, crew, of Hallettsville, Texas, is a sophomore at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. She is majoring in finance. Katherine represented The Victoria Advocate of Victoria, Texas, in the 2000 national finals.
April DeGideo, crew, of Ambler, Pennsylvania, represented the Times Herald of Norristown, Pennsylvania, in the 1998 and 1999 national finals, placing third in 1999. She is a senior journalism major at New York University.
Steve Dorsey, crew, of Bel Air, Maryland, is a sophomore at American University in Washington, D.C. He is majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish.
Sarah Doyle, crew, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a senior history major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She represented the Chattanooga Times in the 1999 national finals.
Karen Due, crew, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, is a junior violin performance major at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Karen represented The Bismarck Tribune of Bismarck, North Dakota, in the 2000 national finals.
Antoinette Gardner, crew, of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, is a senior Spanish major at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. She represented The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the 1998 national finals.
Lynne Guey, crew, of West Palm Beach, Florida, will enter the University of Florida this fall. She represented The Palm Beach Post in the 2003 national finals, and her sister Wendy is the 1996 national champion.
Kara Hadge, crew, of Canton, Massachusetts, is a junior English and art history major at Wellesley College. She represented the Patriot Ledger of Quincy, Massachusetts, in the 1999 and 2000 national finals.
Kristin Hawkins, crew, of Sterling, Virginia, is a sophomore at the University of Virginia. She is double majoring in foreign affairs and economics. Kristin represented the Loudoun Times-Mirror of Leesburg, Virginia, in the 1999, 2000, and 2001 national finals, placing second in 2001.
Trevor Mahoney, crew, of Marshfield, Wisconsin, is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is double majoring in actuarial science and risk management and insurance. Trevor represented the Wisconsin State Journal in the 2002 national finals.
Kevin Moch, crew, of Braddock, North Dakota, is a freshman at Princeton University majoring in classics with a certificate in linguistics. He participated in the 2001 and 2002 national finals, tying for third place in 2002.
Nick Muller, crew, of El Paso, Texas, is a freshman majoring in public relations at California Lutheran University.
Bridget Nealis, crew, of Mason, Ohio, is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky. She is majoring in finance.
Henry Pollock, crew, of Urbana, Illinois, is a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He represented The News-Gazette of Champaign, Illinois, in the 2000 and 2001 national finals, tying for third place in 2001.
Carrie Porter, crew co-captain, of Terrace Park, Ohio, attends the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She is double majoring in journalism and international studies.
Jennifer Rios, crew, of Mariposa, California, attends Merced College in California. Jennifer represented the Merced Sun-Star in the 2001 and 2002 national finals.
Carol Rupprecht, crew, of Carmel, Indiana, is a freshman pre-med student majoring in biology at Purdue University in Indiana. Carol represented Topics Newspapers in the 2000 and 2001 national finals.
Hester Shieh, crew, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, is a senior chemical-biological engineering major at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She represented the Arizona Educational Foundation in the 2000 national finals.
Lauren Terry, crew, of Columbus, Ohio, is a freshman at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She is majoring in psychology with a minor in business management.
George Thampy, crew, of St. Louis, Missouri, attends Harvard University. He is majoring in English and American literature and language. George represented the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the 1998, 1999, and 2000 national finals, and he is the 2000 national champion.
Mallika Thampy, crew, of St. Louis, Missouri, is a first year student in the six-year BA/MD program at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She represented the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the 2001 and 2002 national finals.
Scott Toland, crew, of Iola, Kansas, is a freshman at the University of Kansas. His major is journalism: news and information. Scott represented the Topeka Capital-Journal in the 2001 and 2002 national finals.
Greg Touney, crew co-captain, of Davenport, Iowa, is a recent graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He majored in history. Greg represented the Herald & Review of Decatur, Illinois, in the 1999 national finals, tying for ninth place.
Michael Witt, crew, of Landen, Ohio, is a freshman at the University of Dayton. He is majoring in business.
Yan Zhong, crew, of Vero Beach, Florida, is a senior operations research and financial engineering major at Princeton University. She will begin her career with Microsoft this fall. Yan represented the Press-Journal of Vero Beach, Florida, in the 1998 and 1999 national finals.