‘Tamale’ takes Tyler Curtis to county spelling bee


Tyler Curtis of Maricopa Elementary School walked away with the championship trophy at the MUSD District Spelling Bee Thursday morning.  Her final, winning word was ‘tamale.’

Sixteen students, nine boys and seven girls (see related story) in the fourth through eighth grades, represented the district’s six elementary and two middle schools in the competition.

During the first round of competition, eight students were eliminated, stumbling over words like: ‘versatile,’ ‘mallard,’ ‘taupe’ and ‘camouflage.’ Round two’s words were too difficult for four additional contestants. 

Curtis won in Round 3, beating out runner up Kelleigh Hogan from Saddleback Elementary, as well as alternates Janaa Manning from Santa Cruz Elementary and Delano Jackson from Desert Wind Middle School.

Each student was given one word per round. He or she could ask for a definition of the word, to have it used in a sentence, its language of origin and for any alternate pronunciations.
District Spelling Bee coordinator Kathi Stewart thanked Desert Wind Middle School for hosting the event and for providing the pronouncer, Matthew Verlei. Judges were the spelling bee coordinators from the eight school sites.

“A big congratulations to all the students who participated in the 2010 Maricopa Unified School District Spelling Bee. They did a fabulous job,” Stewart said.

Parents, district staff and community members are invited to attend and support Curtis and Hogan as they compete in the 47thAnnual Pinal County Spelling Bee on Feb. 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the Vista Grande High School auditorium in Casa Grande.

Photos by Joyce Hollis