Students to compete in state spelling bee - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Students to compete in state spelling bee

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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:55 am | Updated: 3:50 pm, Tue Mar 26, 2013.

When they’re not practicing their archery skills, engaging audiences with their impressive public speaking abilities, exploring Arizona or rescuing birds and reptiles, the state’s top 27 spellers, ranging in age from 9-14, are studying words like ‘vivisepulture’ and ‘ursprache’ in preparation for the 2013 AEF Arizona Spelling Bee. This year’s annual AEF Arizona Spelling Bee will be held Saturday in Phoenix.

This is the 14th year the event is being sponsored by the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), a non-profit organization that promotes excellence in education through diverse statewide programs and community partnerships throughout the year.

“We’re proud to administer the annual state spelling bee again this year and showcase the impressive academic talent we have throughout Arizona,” said AEF Executive Director Bobbie O’Boyle. “We have some remarkable achievers in Arizona’s classrooms whose accomplishments should be recognized.”

One of these is Michael Chen, who at nine years old is the youngest contestant in the competition. He attends Copper Creek Elementary School in Oro Valley and enjoys spelling, football, basketball, reading and math.

Four of the 27 contestants are returning to the state’s spelling bee stage for their second time.

The bee, which is open to the public, will begin at 1 p.m. at the Eight/Arizona PBS studio on the sixth floor of the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication located on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, 555 N. Central Ave. Thirteen counties are each represented by one contestant. Pima County is represented by two and Maricopa County is represented by 12. The winner of the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee will represent Arizona in the 86th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee from May 28-May 30 in Washington, D.C.

The road leading up to the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee began in December when schools throughout the state held qualifying bees. Winners progressed to district bees in January and then county and regional bees in February.

The winner of the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee will receive a trip for two to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Other prizes include $800 cash, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and a Rosetta Stone language course compliments of Harrison Middleton University.

For more information on the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee, or to learn more about the programs and sponsorships of the AEF, visit

  • Arizona Education Foundation

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