top of page

Top Spellers to Compete in Arizona State Spelling Bee on March 23

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

Scottsdale, Ariz., March 12, 2019 — 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 8-14 and grades 3rd through 8th – are studying and practicing for the 2019 Arizona State Spelling Bee.

The annual Arizona State Spelling Bee will be held this year on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm in the Arizona PBS studios on the downtown Phoenix campus of Arizona State University. The top speller that day will go on to represent Arizona in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. later this spring.

This is the 21st year the event is being sponsored by the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), a statewide non-profit organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The spelling bee competition is open to the public and will begin at 1 p.m. in the Arizona PBS studios 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. Photos and short bios of each of the finalists are available upon request.

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 winner of the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee will represent Arizona in the 91st Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in late May outside Washington, D.C. in National Harbor, Maryland. For more details about the AEF Spelling Bee program, please visit

2019 State of Arizona Spelling Bee Finalists:

  • Apache County: Jackson Greer – 7th grade, age 13, St. Johns Middle School (Saint Johns)

  • Cochise County: Diana Berry – 8th grade, age 14, Ray Borane Middle School (Douglas)

  • Coconino County: Hannah Dodt – 7th grade, age 12, Flagstaff Home Educators (Flagstaff)

  • Gila County: Spencer Jackson – 8th grade, age 14, Young Public School (Young)

  • Graham County: Mariah Jensen – 8th grade, age 13, Thatcher Middle School (Thatcher)

  • Greenlee County: Kryzzia Marie Cortez – 8th grade, age 14, Fairbanks Middle School (Morenci)

  • LaPaz County: Juan Ruelas – 8th grade, age 13, Wenden Elementary School (Wenden)

  • Maricopa County 1: Katherine Rayter – 8th grade, age 14, Altadena Middle School (Phoenix)

  • Maricopa County 1: Joshua Whipple – 7th grade, age 13, Connolly Middle School (Tempe)

  • Maricopa County 2: Omkar Bharath – 6th grade, age 11, Desert Canyon Middle School (Scottsdale)

  • Maricopa County 2: Emily Tran – 6th grade, age 12, Desert Trails Elementary School (Phoenix)

  • Maricopa County 3: Marcus Giorza – 8th grade, age 14, Madison #1 (Phoenix)

  • Maricopa County 3: Pragya Prasad – 4th grade, age 9, Madison Traditional Academy (Phoenix)

  • Maricopa County 4: Kenneth Armstrong – 7th grade, age 13, Desert Palms Elementary School (Glendale)

  • Maricopa County 4: Annabelle Tran – 8th grade, age 14, Frontier Elementary School (Peoria)

  • Maricopa County 5: Chema Estreller – 5th grade, age 11, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School (Goodyear)

  • Maricopa County 5: Srihaas Ghanta – 5th grade, age 10, Archway Trivium East (Goodyear)

  • Maricopa County 6: Zakk Bolton – 6th grade, age 11, Chandler Traditional Academy Humphry Campus (Chandler)

  • Maricopa County 6: Sifarth Rahaman – 4th grade, age 9, Harris Elementary School (Gilbert)

  • Mohave County: Johnathan Timpson – 8th grade, age 13, Masada Charter School (Centennial Park)

  • Navajo County: Parker Stubblefield – 8th grade, age 14, Winslow Junior High School (Winslow)

  • Pima County: Trevlyn R Brimhall – 6th grade, age 12, Rincon Vista Middle School (Tucson)

  • Pima County: Sai Konkimalla – 8th grade, age 13, BASIS Oro Valley (Oro Valley)

  • Pinal County: Colby Christopherson – 8th grade, age 14, Eduprize Queen Creek (Queen Creek)

  • Santa Cruz County: Daniel Woodburn, 5th grade, age 10, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School (Nogales)

  • Yavapai County: Aliyah Alpert – 3rd grade, age 8, Alpert Homeschool (Prescott)

  • Yuma County: Gabriella Von Fumetti – 7th grade, age 13, Ron Watson Middle School (Yuma)


About AEF

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.


Dan Allen

AEF Director of Programs and Partnerships

(480) 421-9376


bottom of page