After more than 10 rounds and more than 100 words, Bradshaw Mountain Middle School eighth grader Makayla Boyd won the 72nd annual Yavapai County Spelling Bee.
It was the first time in four years someone other than Tanner Dodt won with Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter noting Dodt now lives in a different county.
Though she felt nervous in the lead up to the spelling bee, Boyd said it felt very good to win it. It was also nice to have a different winner for a change, she said.
“It’s pretty cool that it’s a new person that won and not the same person,” Boyd said, commenting that she’s pretty nervous for the next step which is the Arizona Spelling Bee. She’s said she has a plan though and it involves “a lot of studying.”
Boyd won by correctly spelling pistachio and musicale.
Boyd’s mother, Judy Boyd, said she and her husband are very proud of their daughter. They’re going to help her in the days leading up to the statewide competition by helping her study and making sure she’s got her words perfect, she said.
In second place was second grader Aliyah Alpert of Alpert Homeschool. Alpert said she never thought she’d make it to second place but doing so was pretty cool. It’s her plan to keep doing the spelling be year after year, she said. Mother Brenda Alpert said the family is very proud of her.
“She’s worked very, very hard,” she said. “We’re very pleased.”
The rest of the final four included Mountain View Elementary School sixth grader Jaxon Moore in third place and Humboldt Elementary School fifth grader Logan Dartt in fourth place.
This year’s spelling bee saw a fantastic group of young people, Carter said. Further, it was interesting to watch them and see them pat each other on the back and offer condolences if they missed a word, he said. There were several perfect rounds too, Carter said. He also liked the diversity of the final four entrants, he said.
“The diversity of these final four is very interesting from a standpoint of grade range,” Carter said. “They represented the schools in Yavapai County very, very well.”
The Arizona Spelling Bee is at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at Arizona PBS Studios, 500 N. Central Ave. Boyd joins 26 other students from across the state.