Scottsdale, Ariz., March 23, 2019 – Omkar Bharath, a 6th grader from Desert Canyon Middle School in Scottsdale (Maricopa County Region 2) out-spelled 26 other competitors to win the 2019 Arizona State Spelling Bee hosted by the Arizona Educational Foundation on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in Phoenix. Omkar correctly spelled the word “breviary” in the 24th round to win the bee.
Omkar is 11 years old and attends Desert Canyon Middle School in Scottsdale. This is his first time competing in the state spelling bee. Omkar enjoys reading, soccer, theater and games. He is interested in coding, puns, and travel. He has visited many countries in Europe and Asia and plans to travel as much as he can. He likes hanging out with his friends, laser tag, working on robotics challenges and learning different languages. His favorite movies include the original Star Wars trilogy and many Marvel movies.
Runners-up include Srihaas Ghanta of Archway Trivium East representing Maricopa County Region 5 who placed second; Marcus Giorza of Madison #1 School representing Maricopa County Region 3 who placed third; Jackson Greer of St. Johns Middle School representing Apache County who placed fourth; and Aliyah Alpert of Alpert Homeschool representing Yavapai County who placed fifth.
According to Executive Director, Kim Graham, this is the Arizona Educational Foundation’s 21st year sponsoring the Arizona State Spelling Bee. “Over 120,000 Arizona students competed in spelling bees this year. By hosting the State Spelling Bee, AEF is proud to celebrate the hard work and dedication of these students.”
“It’s a pleasure for AEF to sponsor the Spelling Bee each year,” said Director of Programs and Partnerships Dan Allen. “It’s a beautiful way to celebrate and showcase the talents and achievements of students from across the state.”
Omkar will head to Washington, D.C., to represent Arizona in the 90th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee May 26-June 1, 2019. In addition to an all-expenses paid trip for two to the nation's capital, he won $800 cash, a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online, a one-year subscription to Britannica Online Premium, and will be sent a copy of a Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
All 27 finalists received a choice of The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, courtesy of Harrison Middleton University.
A broadcast of the 2019 Arizona State Spelling Bee will air on Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m. on Arizona PBS (Channel 8). Viewers can also watch the program with highlights from the event on the Arizona PBS website after the air-date.
To schedule interviews with the winner or set up an interview in D.C. after the winner participates in the National Scripps Spelling Bee, please contact Dan Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org, (928) 600-7092.
Click here for more information on the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee.
Pictures of the Omkar, and all the spellers in action can be found in this Google Drive Folder (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-HvZAgADfv37DItLOEgWjbshnpphNCvO)