Ariana Vaida was first and Joey Russoniello finished second in MUSD's district spelling bee. Submitted

The Maricopa Unified School District held the annual District Spelling Bee at the District Administration Building on Tuesday.  The contest was very well-attended and outstanding spellers went a total of 10 exciting rounds.

The following students are the District’s winners and the potential alternates that will represent the Maricopa Unified School District at the Pinal County Spelling Bee to be held in Casa Grande on Feb. 19:

1st Place – Ariana Vaida – seventh grade – Maricopa Wells Middle School
2nd Place – Joey Russoniello – sixth grade – Santa Rosa Elementary School
3rd Place – Tyrel Packard – seventh grade – Maricopa Wells Middle School

Odessa Galvan Fuentes – eighth grade – Desert Wind Middle School
Romael Canlas – fifth grade – Pima Butte Elementary School
Emily Peters – fourth grade – Maricopa Elementary School

A special thank you goes out to Board Member Torri Anderson for acting as announcer and also to three judges – Jim Irving, Heidi Vratil and Jane Tifft.

For more information about the Maricopa Unified School District please visit our website at

Submitted by Karen Gadinski, Dennis Koch and Diane Vigil, Spelling Bee coordinators