State's top spellers to compete in AEF Arizona Spelling Bee March 29

Champion will compete in Scripps National Spelling

The Arizona Spelling Bee is coming to Phoenix on Saturday, March 29.

The winner will represent Arizona in the 87th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee from May 25-May 31 in Washington, D.C.  

EW Scripps, the parent company of ABC15, is proud to promote education and the importance of spelling.

This is the 15th year the event is being sponsored by the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), a non-profit organization that promotes excellence in education through diverse statewide programs and community partnerships throughout the year.

The 27 Arizona contestants include:

  • Tatiana Asadourian, age 10 is the youngest contestant in the competition. She attends Desert Oasis Elementary School in Surprise
  • Johanna Jessop, age 14, a second year contestant, attends Concho Elementary School in Concho.
  • Jack Piorkowski, age 11, a second year contestant, attends Kyrene de la Colina School in Phoenix.
  • Christopher O’Connor, age 14, a third year contestant, Arizona’s 2013 Spelling Bee Champion,  attends St. Cyril of Alexandria School in Tucson.
  • April Alamban, age 13, first year contestant but following her older siblings attempt at winning the title, attends Wallace Jr. High School in Parker.
  • Jessica Zylstra, age 11, first year contestant but following in her older siblings attempt at winning the title,  attends Lookout Mountain School in Phoenix

The bee, which is open to the public, will begin at 1 p.m. at the Eight/Arizona PBS studio on the sixth floor of the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication located on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, 555 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ

Thirteen counties are each represented by one contestant. Pima County is represented by two and Maricopa County is represented by 12.

The road leading up to the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee began last December when schools throughout the state held qualifying bees. Winners progressed to district bees in January and then county and regional bees in February.

The winner of the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee will receive a trip for two to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Other prizes include $800 cash, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and a Rosetta Stone language course compliments of Harrison Middleton University. 

For more information on the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee, or to learn more about the programs and sponsorships of the AEF, visit .

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