About Us

Our Founders and the Hexco Name

Hexco Incorporated was founded by in 1967 by Tom and Linda Tarrant. With solid backgrounds as Systems Engineers for IBM, the couple had a unique understanding of the need for products to equip programmers who worked on large main-frame computers. The first product developed and patented was a hand-held manual calculator that added and subtracted in hexadecimal format, the numbering system used in computers, hence our name, “Hexco” derived from the name, “Hexadecimal Company.” The two worked tirelessly laying the foundations for the Hexco business. Many long days and even weekends were spent in self-made workshops that they equipped to produce a series of highly intricate computer programming devices. With very little outside help, the two accomplished nearly every task needed to start and maintain a successful business, including their own marketing, sales, and recordkeeping. Hexco Inc. later patented a product line called Slap-Tags, a movable labeling system originally designed for computer environments and later utilized by hundreds of hospitals and retail outlets. The Hexco business side of Hexco Incorporated still stands, but the company’s focus has shifted to competitive academics – a niche that emerged from a daughter’s love for spelling.

Spelling - Our Success is Based on Yours

In The National Spelling Bee arena, one way we measure our success is based on the number of customers who advance to the National Spelling Bee contest in Washington, D.C. in June of each year. The percentage of "our" spellers is annually around 40% of the field. Since 2000, every National Spelling Bee Champion has relied on Hexco products to prepare for the higher rungs of competition.

In recent years, the products used by the top contenders have been our advanced study materials, usually New Nat's Notes book and eMentor, Verbomania and Verbo eMentor, The Spelling Rules Book, Webster Detector eMentor, Bee or New Bee Prepared, and Etyma eMentor & Notes and Spelling eMentor, which coaches competitors of all skill levels in an interactive format. Our eMentor is an online study platform designed by our years of experience, which containis audio pronunciations (constantly updated to reflect any changes in the official dictionary source for NSB), phonetic pronunciations, definitions, and etymology. Hexco produces the After a Spell newsletter annually that recounts information and changes about The National Bee, features some of our "star" customers, and includes the list of the words used in regional bees and at the national competition. We are immensely proud to have played some small part in the successes of these spellers.

Hexco and the UIL

University Interscholastic League (UIL) is a Texas organization charged with interscholastic academic competition within the public school arena. UIL conducts a large variety of contests, and Hexco Academic produces study materials used in many of these competitions. Over 20 years ago we started producing products for learning the annual spelling and vocabulary lists for the competitions. We have since branched into a plethora of advanced spelling materials and into other contests, including Accounting, Computer Applications, Computer Science, Current Issues & Events, Dictionary Skills, Journalism, Literary Criticism, Number Sense, Ready Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Spelling/Vocabulary. Linda Tarrant is the Computer Applications Contest Director for UIL.

Hexco has also developed products for the National Geographic Bee and offers three levels, Foundations, Intermediate, and Advanced, of practice tests and software for beyond the classroom study in preparing for the bee. A personalized coaching program is also available for geography.