We regret to announce North Idaho College has made the difficult decision to retire from its involvement in the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee.

For 16 years, the spelling bee – for students in grades 4 to 8 from throughout North Idaho – was made possible through a partnership between the Coeur d’Alene Press and NIC. As sponsor of the spelling bee each year, the newspaper paid a sponsorship fee each year and funded the prizes including an all-expense-paid trip for two so the regional spelling bee winner and an adult could travel to the Washington, D.C. area for the local winner to compete in the national spelling bee. North Idaho College spent months organizing the regional spelling bee each year, and then hosted the event, assuming all related costs.

In 2019, the newspaper announced it was stepping away from sponsoring the spelling bee. NIC took on the sponsorship expenses for 2020, in addition to the costs to organize and host the event. But now, NIC must also relinquish its participation in the North Idaho Regional Spelling Bee.

With reduced state funding for Idaho’s higher education institutions and heightened financial uncertainty due to COVID-19, NIC must prioritize its spending. As a public, comprehensive community college, we must focus all our resources on projects that more directly support NIC’s mission to meet the diverse educational needs of students and employers throughout the region.

In addition, school participation has dwindled over the years with just 34 schools and two home school associations participating in 2020. Ten years ago, 59 schools and one home school association participated in the regional bee.

Organizations interested in stepping in to sponsor/host a regional spelling bee in North Idaho should visit spellingbee.com for more information.

Thank you for your understanding.


Maureen Dolan
Community Relations Coordinator 
North Idaho College