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76th Annual Yavapai County Spelling Bee Winners

Article audio is made possible by CAST11 Prescott Podcast Network. A Talking Glass Media production.

The Yavapai County Education Service Agency (YCESA) is proud to announce the winners of the 76th Annual Yavapai County Spelling Bee, which was held at the Phil England Center on the campus of Camp Verde Unified School District on Saturday, February 5th at 2:00 pm.

The winning word was “lumbar” in the 17th round. The Champion was Aliyah Alpert of Alpert Homeschool. This delightful, poised, and calm young lady has won the Bee for multiple years. We wish her well at the State Bee to be held on March 19th at the Madison Event Center in Phoenix. She has a very good chance of winning that Bee as well. The runner up was Alex Boes from the host school, Camp Verde Middle School.  Alex matched Aliyah word for word for several rounds. The third and fourth place finishers had a tie breaker that also took several rounds, before Andrew James Good of Granite Mountain Middle School prevailed for third place. With a very strong fourth place performance, was Sawyer Frank of Franklin Phonetic School. Congratulations to all.

Thanks to the Prescott Sunrise Lions Club for being continuing sponsors of the Bee.  The Lions, whose motto is “We Serve”, always show a strong commitment to funding educational and family programs within our communities.  Thanks also to Jenn Nelson, who serves as the Spelling Bee Coordinator.  We greatly appreciate the four (4) dedicated volunteers who donate their time to serve as the Pronouncer (Dr. Tara O’Neill of Yavapai College, Department of Education), and three (3) Judges (Ray Newton, Professor Emeritus of Northern Arizona University, Jen Miller, YCESA Nursing Director and Karen Otis, Community Involvement Coordinator for Drake Cement) A great job by all.

An item of note, in reference to our spelling bee motto, “The Spelling Bee, a time honored American Tradition”. In what may be a sign of the times, out of eighty-three (83) elementary schools in Yavapai County, we only had twenty (20) school participants. The least in modern memory. I am sure there are lots of reasons for that, COVID, other obligations on that date, travel  issues, etc., but I am concerned that “the critical art of spelling” is  being sidelined due to the constant use of technology (spell check for example) and a lack of time and focus, probably due to all of the other things schools are now expected to teach.

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