Students from throughout Montana will vie for the Treasure State Spelling Bee championship in Billings on Saturday, March 27.
Sixty-five contestants will compete for more than $3,000 in prizes, and the chance to represent the state at the Scripps National Spelling Bee June 2-4, in Washington, D. C.
The oral spelldown, sponsored by Lee Newspapers of Montana (Billings Gazette, Montana Standard, Helena Independent Record and the Missoulian), begins at 1 p.m. at Montana State University-Billings. The public is invited to attend the free event.
More than 25,000 students from grades 5-8 participated in the Montana bee program this year. The process begins with classroom competitions. Winners then advance to school contests, and some spell at city and rural area bees. Each county then conducts a bee and sends its winner to the state meet with the following exceptions: Yellowstone County, four spellers; Missoula, Flathead, and Cascade, three each; and Lewis and Clark, Gallatin, Ravalli and Butte/Silver Bow, two each.
In addition to an all-expenses-paid trip to the national finals for himself/herself and an escort, the winner of the state bee will receive Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, $100 Series EE U. S. Savings Bond, and a plaque or the equivalent amount in an education certificate of deposit.
A $100 cash award and a plaque will go to second place. Cash and other prizes will be presented to spellers placing in the final rounds. All contestants will be awarded pocket dictionaries provided by the Montana Court Reporters Association.
Pronouncer for the state contest will be Jaclyn Rooney, former Treasure State Spelling Bee champion. Judges will be Jerry Scott, Carbon County Superintendent of Schools; Larry Fink, Superintendent of Hysham School; and Julia Lillethun, Assistant Clerk, Park City Schools.
This year’s national contest will feature more than 280 spellers representing newspaper circulation areas who will compete for more than $30,000 in cash prizes. Last year, Rose Tracy, Deer Lodge County, represented Montana at the national bee. Rose is an eighth-grader at Fred Moodry Middle School in Anaconda.
Following is the list of county winners who will attend the state contest. County, name, grade, school and town are listed.
Beaverhead: Juliet Hollifield*, 8, Dillon Middle School, Dillon.
Big Horn: Adrian Hugs, 8, Pretty Eagle Catholic School, St. Xavier.
Blaine: Promise Sharples*, 8, Chinook High School, Chinook.
Butte/Silver Bow: Erin Olivieri, 7, East Middle School, Butte, and Devin Sherman, 8, Butte East Middle School, Butte.
Carbon: Ryan Miller, 6, Roberts Elementary School, Roberts.
Carter: Ellen Guyer, 8, Ekalaka Public Schools, Ekalaka.
Cascade: Abby Lynes*, 8, North Middle School, Great Falls; Brianna Little, 6, Sunnyside Elementary, Great Falls and Caitlyn Jones, 8, East Middle School, Great Falls.
Chouteau: Makayla Ereaux, 7, Fort Benton High School, Fort Benton.
Custer: Michael Jones, 7, Washington Middle School, Miles City.
Dawson: Carly Svenvold, 8, Washington Middle School, Glendive.
Deer Lodge: Rose Tracy*, 8, Fred Moodry Middle School, Anaconda.
Fergus: Rylee Stewart-Kucera, 7, Lewistown Junior High, Lewistown.
Flathead: Glenn Strickler, 8, Whitefish Middle School, Whitefish; Marley Sande, 6, Bigfork Middle School, Bigfork and Megan Pancoast, 7, Swan River School, Bigfork.
Gallatin: McKinsie Clarkson*, 8, Gallatin Valley Home School, Bozeman and Diana Peyton, 7, Sacajawea Middle School, Bozeman.
Garfield: Eric Murnion, 7, Jordan Elementary, Jordan.
Glacier: George Barrett*, 7, Cut Bank Middle School, Cut Bank.
Golden Valley: Morgan McLean*, 8, Lavina School, Lavina.
Granite: Rebecca Barsotti*, 8, Drummond School, Drummond.
Hill: Genae Kaftan*, 6, Hi-Line Home Education Association, Havre.
Jefferson: Madeline Cade, 7, Montana City School, Montana City.
Judith Basin: Franchesca Royer, 7, Hobson High School, Hobson.
Lake: Cody Baer, 8, Polson Middle School, Polson.
Lewis and Clark: Bailey Wood, 7, East Valley Middle School, East Helena and Andy Turner, 7, C. R. Anderson Middle School, Helena.
Liberty: Seth Renville*, 8, Chester-Joplin-Inverness School, Chester.
Lincoln: Brian Chupp, 7, Tobacco Valley Home Educators, Rexford.
Madison: Caelin Marum, 5, Ennis Elementary, Ennis.
McCone: Alexis Buen, 8, Circle Public Schools, Circle.
Meagher: John Kakuk*, 7, White Sulphur Springs Junior High, White Sulphur Springs.
Mineral: Wyatt Zylawy, 7, Superior School, Superior.
Missoula: Sam Person, 5, Lolo School, Lolo; Ania Chaney, 8, Washington Middle School, Missoula; and Claire Hinter*, 6, Target Range School, Missoula.
Mussellshell: Cody Carsner, 6, Central Elementary, Roundup.
Park: Michelle Ouellette, 7, Sleeping Giant Middle School, Livingston.
Petroleum: Garret Jolma*, 7, Winnett Public School, Winnett.
Phillips: Blake Sjostrom, 5, Malta Elementary, Malta.
Pondera: Becky Brown, 8, Utterback Middle School, Conrad.
Powder River: Andrew Gaskill, 7, Broadus Junior High School, Broadus.
Powell: Will Senecal*, 7, Elliston School, Elliston.
Prairie: Layna Grue, 7, Terry Public Schools, Terry.
Ravalli: Ross Evans, 5, Daly Elementary, Hamilton and Kyle Wall, 5, Darby Elementary, Darby.
Richland: Sarah Turek, 6, Rau Elementary, Sidney.
Roosevelt: Layne Hanson*, 8, Froid Public School, Froid.
Rosebud: Ryon Olson, 8, Frank Brattin Middle School, Colstrip.
Sanders: Hannah McGuyer, 7, Thompson Falls Junior High, Thompson Falls.
Sheridan: Cooper Olson, 7, Westby School, Westby.
Stillwater: Codi Rogers*, 8, Park City High School, Park City.
Sweet Grass: Erin Dringman*, 6, Melville School, Melville.
Teton: Daniel Wahl, 8, Dutton/Brady School, Dutton.
Toole: Kage Hansen, 6, Shelby Elementary, Shelby.
Treasure: Allison Hert, 7, Hysham Public Schools, Hysham.
Valley: Ella See, 8, Hinsdale School, Hinsdale.
Wheatland: Catrina Schuchard, 6, Hillcrest Elementary, Harlowton.
Wibaux: Noah Schneider, 5, Wibaux Elementary, Wibaux.
Yellowstone: Ellen Carlson*, 8, Lewis and Clark Middle School, Billings; Jake Woodring*, 8, Woodring Home School, Billings; Abbey Beck, 8, Castle Rock Middle School, Billings and Trevor Canty, 6, Arrowhead Elementary, Billings.
*Denotes prior state bee participant