Addisyn Frost

Highland Junior High student Addisyn Frost captured the big rice in the GPS Spelling Bee.

F-i-d-u-c-i-a-r-y.

That’s the word Highland Junior High School student Addisyn Frost correctly spelled to win the Gilbert Public Schools District spelling bee, advancing her to regionals and the chance to compete in the state competition.

The 7th-grader was one of 90 students who competed in Tempe, Chandler and Gilbert spelling bees in January.

Each of the finalists received a trophy, ribbon and bookstore gift card from Assistance League of East Valley, which partnered with Arizona Education Foundation to sponsor bees in the three districts.

The Gilbert finalists in the district bee are Emily Mabb, 7th grader at Desert Ridge Junior High; Stone Guymon, 8th grader at Gilbert Classical Academy; Natalie Baron, 4th grader at Ashland Ranch Elementary; Matthew Weech, 6th grader at Carol Rae Ranch Elementary; Austin Johnson, 7th grader at Greenfield Junior High; Tyler Mantanona, 5th grader at Canyon Rim Elementary and Sifarth Rahaman, 5th grader at Harris Elementary.

All the finalists from each district, not just the champion, will represent their districts in a regional bee. 

The upcoming regional spelling bee for Region 6, which includes Chandler, Gilbert, Higley and Queen Creek is open to the public Feb. 20, at Mesquite Junior High School auditorium. Maricopa County is divided into six regions based on school district. 

The winners from these events will go on to compete in the 2020 Arizona Spelling Bee on March 21 at Arizona PBS, 500 N. Central St., Phoenix.

The State Spelling Bee is the penultimate showdown with 27 students from across the state competing to determine who will represent Arizona in the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. on May 24-29.

Last year’s state spelling bee winner was a 6th grader from Desert Canyon Middle School in Scottsdale. Gilbert students have won the state competition in 2014, 2007, 2006 and 2005.

The national contest in May is expected to feature about 400 spellers. Last year the contest had an unprecedented eight winners and a record 565 participants.

The champion will receive a number of prizes, including $50,000 cash and an engraved trophy from Scripps National Spelling Bee, a $2,500 cash prize and reference library from Merriam-Webster, $400 worth of reference works from Encyclopaedia Britannica, a trip to New York  to appear on Live with Kelly and Ryan, and a trip to Hollywood to appear on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!

An Arizona student hasn’t won the national contest this century.