Arizona PBS to Host 2016 Arizona State Spelling Bee

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WHAT:  The public is invited to join Arizona PBS to watch the state’s top spellers through eighth grade compete in the 2016 Arizona Educational Foundation Spelling Bee. The spelling bee will be taped with a live audience on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 1 p.m. at Arizona PBS in Studio A. Footage from the event will be edited by Arizona PBS into a 60-minute program premiering on Wednesday, April 20 at 9 p.m. on Arizona PBS.

An Arizona PBS original production made possible by the Arizona Educational Foundation.

WHO:  Twenty-seven students will compete in this state spelling bee. These students earned their places in the state competition by winning their school spelling bees, regional spelling bees and county spelling bees to join the other finalists in competing in the 2016 AEF Arizona Spelling Bee. The winner of the competition will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Arizona in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Arizona’s poet laureate Alberto Rios will once again serve as the event host and emcee.

Contestants (by county):

Apache - Kameryn Greer (7th grade, St. Johns Middle School, St. Johns)

Cochise – Ethan Johnson (8th grade, Center for Academic Success, Sierra Vista)

Coconino – Katrina Vollmer (7th grade, San Francisco de Asis Catholic School, Flagstaff)

Gila – Chris Provido, (8th grade, High Desert Middle School, Globe)

Graham – Callie Konopnicki (8th grade, Safford Middle School, Safford)

Greenlee – Keanna Cortez (8th grade, Fairbanks Middle School, Morenci)

LaPaz - Adianne Alamban (8th grade, Wallace Jr. High School, Parker)

Maricopa 1 – Tommy LaPenna (8th grade, Kyrene Middle School, Tempe)

Maricopa 1 – Jackson Springer (5th grade, Barbara Bush Elementary School, Mesa)

Maricopa 2 – Nicola Ferguson (7th grade, Sunrise Middle School, Scottsdale)

Maricopa 2 – Keshav Nandakumar (8th grade, Sierra Verde STEM Academy, Glendale)

Maricopa 3 – Lindsay Davis (6th grade, Vista del Sur Accelerated Academy, Laveen)

Maricopa 3 – Amutha Rajasundaram (4th grade, Madison Heights Elementary School)

Maricopa 4 – Michael Davey (7th grade, Parkridge Elementary School, Peoria)

Maricopa 4 – Jaidyn Mallon (6th grade, Lookout Mountain Elementary School, Phoenix)

Maricopa 5 – Tatiana Asadourian (6th grade, Desert Oasis Elementary School, Surprise)

Maricopa 5 – Chelsea Lee (8th grade, Westpoint Elementary School, Surprise)

Maricopa 6 – Michael Chen (7th grade, BASIS Chandler, Chandler)

Maricopa 6 – Amber Kassisieh (8th grade, South Valley Jr. High School, Gilbert)

Mohave – Johan Perea (6th grade, Havasupai Elementary School, Lake Havasu City)

Navajo – Jett Jue (6th grade, Bonnie Brennan Elementary School, Winslow)

Pima – Matthew Glasshoff (8th grade, Marana Middle School, Marana)

Pima – Sai Konkimalla (5th grade, BASIS Oro Valley, Oro Valley)

Pinal – Freya Abraham (8th grade, Legacy Traditional School, Maricopa)

Santa Cruz – Grecia Solorio (5th grade, Mary L. Welty Elementary School, Nogales)

Yavapai – Tanner Dodt (6th grade, Heritage Christian Home Educators, Prescott Valley)

Yuma – Yazan Abdella (8th grade, Crane Middle School, Yuma)

WHERE:  Arizona PBS Studios, 555 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, Studio A, 6th floor

WHEN:  Saturday, March 19 at 1 p.m.

PHOTO OPPS:  The 2016 AEF Spelling Bee contestants competing on stage for the opportunity to earn the top spelling honor in Arizona and advance to the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C.

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