February 13, 2018
Michael Gruber is spelling for Team OnPoint Community Credit Union. Born and raised in New York City, and educated in its public schools, Gruber went to Columbia University, earning a BA in English literature. After college he did editorial work at various small magazines in New York, and then went back to school at City College and got the equivalent of a second BA, in biology. He then received a masters in marine biology from the University of Miami. In 1968-69 Gruber was in the U. S. Army as a medic.
In 1973, he received his Ph.D. in marine sciences, for a study of octopus behavior. Once he had his doctorate he was a cook at several Miami restaurants and then a hippie traveling around in a bus and working as a roadie for various rock groups.
Gruber went to Washington DC in 1977, and worked in the Carter White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy. Next he worked in the Environmental Protection Agency as a policy analyst and also as the speechwriter for the Administrator. In 1986, he was promoted to the Senior Executive Service of the U.S., the highest level of the federal civil service. That same year, Robert K. Tanenbaum contacted Gruber and asked him to write a courtroom thriller to be published under his name. He did that, and since then he has also written the first fifteen novels in the popular Butch Karp and Marlene series.
In 1988 Gruber left Washington, D.C. and settled in Seattle, where he worked as a speechwriter and environmental expert for the state land commissioner. A full-time freelance writer since 1990, mostly on the Karp novels, but also doing non-fiction magazine pieces on biology ,Gruber’s first novel under his own name, TROPIC OF NIGHT, was published in 2003 (William Morrow) and a second novel, VALLEY OF BONES, as well as a children’s book THE WITCH’S BOY (Harper Collins) came out in 2005. A third thriller for Morrow, NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR was published in early 2006.
His novel THE BOOK OF AIR AND SHADOWS was on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2007. Other published novels: FORGERY OF VENUS, THE GOOD SON, and THE RETURN.
Gruber is married, with three grown children and lives in Seattle, WA.
Will a man with such a varied life and a strong writing background win the 2018 Schoolhouse Supplies Celebrity Spelling Bee? Buy your tickets to find out!
February 12, 2018
One half of 2017’s victorious spelling team, Courtenay Hameister, is back to spell for team KinderCare Education once again. Courtenay is a columnist, teacher, editor, playwright, and creator of the reading and music series Seed: Words + Music, and True… Read more »
February 9, 2018
Twice named one of the top writers in the country by the Society for Features Journalism, Team Fred Meyer’s Ryan White spent nearly 16 years at the Oregonian covering sports, music, and culture. He has appeared on the public radio… Read more »
February 8, 2018
Jeff Spiegel is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for KinderCare Education (KCE). In his role, Jeff oversees content and creative services, digital marketing, marketing strategy and corporate communications for the company and its family of brands – KinderCare Learning… Read more »
February 7, 2018
Andy knows first-hand how invaluable a teacher’s influence can be. Both his parents, wife and mother-in-law are from academia, teachers all. While in college Andy was a struggling Biology major at OSU, doing ok in Biology and Physics, but failing… Read more »
February 1, 2018
Meet Tra’Renee! Tra’Renee is a an Emmy Award Winning Television Personality and Radio DJ in the Portland Metro Area. She is the host of the new afternoon lifestyle program on KATU-TV (ABC affiliate), ”Afternoon Live!” airing weekdays at 3pm PST. Tra’Renee… Read more »
February 1, 2018
David Valenzuela hails from New York City where he was a NYC Teaching Fellow serving the South Bronx. He has called Portland his home since 2011. The coolest word he ever spelled was ‘sardoodledom’ which is a fun word for… Read more »
February 1, 2018
Cassidy Quinn is a reporter at KGW News, reporting on events going on around town. She is a video blogger who loves sports, travel, and technology, and is a bit addicted to social media. Before coming to KGW, Cassidy lived… Read more »
January 30, 2018
April Baer, one half of this year’s Fred Meyer spelling team, hosts the weekly radio arts show, “State of Wonder,” at Oregon Public Broadcasting, covering how art is made and consumed. Prior to this assignment, she worked as a reporter… Read more »
January 29, 2018
We are excited to welcome Master of Ceremonies Carl Wolfson back for the 2018 Schoolhouse Supplies Celebrity Spelling Bee presented by Fred Meyer. Carl has been a popular Portland radio host for the past decade. From 2007 to 2016, he… Read more »