Last year, Copper Ridge School seventh grader Emma McGreevy didn’t make it past the first round of the Scottsdale Unified School District Spelling Bee.
This year, however, Emma won first place.
“I read – a lot,” she said to explain her preparation.
After the two-hour bee Jan. 24 at Saguaro High School, Emma won by correctly spelling the word “truncate.”
“I didn’t start studying until this week. I think it was Tuesday,” Emma admitted. “I didn’t even get through the whole list.”
The five runners-up are Redfield Elementary School fifth grader Braden Van Horne, Cocopah Middle School sixth grader Lianna Nguyen, Mountainside Middle School eighth grader Victoria Leung, Kiva Elementary School fifth grader Gigi Root, and Cheyenne Traditional School seventh grader Makenna Shenberger.
The six students, Emma included, will go on to compete at the Region 2 Spelling Bee on Feb. 24.
The winners of the six Maricopa County Region Bees and 14 Arizona county bees – a total of 27 students — will then move on to compete in the 2020 Arizona State Spelling Bee on March 21 at 12 p.m. at Arizona PBS in downtown Phoenix.
The penultimate showdown, which will air on Arizona PBS Channel 8, will determine who will represent Arizona in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in late May or early June 2020.
Each year, more than 200,000 Arizona students participate in Bees.
Last year’s Arizona Spelling Bee Champion was Desert Canyon Middle School sixth grader Omkar Bharath.
After winning the Scottsdale Unified School District bee on Jan. 18 for his fourth consecutive year and out-spelling his competitors at the Region II Bee on Feb. 22, Omkar won the state meet sponsored by the Arizona Educational Foundation.
Omkar called winning his first time competing in the state bee “right and surreal.”