Phoenix, Ariz., March 2, 2020
When they’re not participating in sports, theater, singing, dancing, playing an instrument or video games, or simply hanging out with family, friends, and pets, the state’s top 27 spellers – ranging in age from 9-14 and grades 4th through 8th – are studying and practicing for the 2020 Arizona State Spelling Bee.
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. Private, public, charter, and homeschool students were eligible to compete.
The annual Arizona State Spelling Bee will be held this year on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 12:00pm in the Arizona PBS studios on the downtown Phoenix campus of Arizona State University. The top speller will be crowned AEF Arizona State Spelling Bee Champion and will go on to represent Arizona in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. later this spring.
This is the 22nd year the event is being sponsored by the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), a statewide non-profit organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Thirteen counties are each represented by one contestant. Pima County is represented by two and Maricopa County is represented by 12. Photos and short bios of each of the finalists are available upon request.
For more details about the AEF Spelling Bee program, please visit www.azedfoundation.com/spelling-bee.
2020 State of Arizona Spelling Bee Finalists:
Apache County: Jackson Greer – 8th grade, age 14, St. Johns Middle School (Saint Johns)
Cochise County: Luke Perolino – 7th grade, age 13, Wilcox Middle School (Wilcox)
Coconino County: Hannah Dodt – 8th grade, age 13, Flagstaff Home Educators (Flagstaff)
Gila County: Cole Frank – 7th grade, age 13, Pine Elementary School (Pine-Strawberry)
Graham County: Xander Jurado – 8th grade, age 14, Solomon Middle School (Safford)
Greenlee County: Isabella Campbell – 7th grade, age 13, Fairbanks Middle School (Morenci)
La Paz County: Zevren Schwegel – 7th grade, age 13, Bouse Elementary (Bouse)
Maricopa County 1: Stanley Fuller – 8th grade, age 13, Franklin Junior High (Mesa)
Maricopa County 1: Robyn Soden – 8th grade, age 14, Smith Jr. High (Mesa)
Maricopa County 2: Amara Ellisor – 6th grade, age 12, Copper Canyon Elementary (Scottsdale)
Maricopa County 2: Victoria Leung – 8th grade, age 13, Mountainside Middle School (Scottsdale)
Maricopa County 3: Charles Judd – 8th grade, age 14, St. Francis Xavier (Phoenix)
Maricopa County 3: Xharia Washington – 8th grade, age 14, Augustus Shaw Montessori (Laveen)
Maricopa County 4: Joash Esmas – 7th grade, age 13, Oasis Elementary School (Peoria)
Maricopa County 4: Raja Balanon – 6th grade, age 11, Sun Valley Elementary School (Peoria)
Maricopa County 5: Madeleine Curran – 7th grade, age 13, Home Educators of Surprise (Surprise)
Maricopa County 5: Alden Halanes – 7th grade, age 12, Sonoran Heights Elementary (Surprise)
Maricopa County 6: Sifarth Rahaman – 5th grade, age 10, Harris Elementary School (Mesa)
Maricopa County 6: Skylar Kulas – 8th grade, age 14, Basha Accelerated Middle School (Chandler)
Mohave County: Anne Mariyah Rosales – 5th grade, age 12, Manzanita Elementary School (Kingman)
Navajo County: Luke Crandell – 8th grade, age 14, Mogollon Junior High (Heber)
Pima County: Amiya Lotun – 8th grade, age 14, BASIS Oro Valley (Tucson)
Pima County: Coby Jeck – 5th grade, age 11, Tucson Hebrew Academy (Tucson)
Pinal County: Adam Rasmussen – 7th grade, age 12, Red Rock Elementary School (Red Rock)
Santa Cruz County: Daniel Woodburn, 6th grade, age 11, Coatimundi Middle School (Tucson)
Yavapai County: Aliyah Alpert – 4th grade, age 9, Alpert Homeschool (Prescott)
Yuma County: Juliet Gonzalez – 8th grade, age 13, Castle Dome Middle School (Yuma)
The Arizona Educational Foundation fosters excellence in education by administering statewide programs that enhance the capabilities of Arizona’s schools to strengthen the teaching profession, design high quality curricula, stimulate high student achievement, cultivate partnerships with schools and businesses, and celebrate the successes in K-12 public education in Arizona.
Director of Programs