13-year-old girls take top 2 spots of 2024 Arizona Spelling Bee, qualify for national competition

Mar 18, 2024, 10:00 AM

Aliyah Alpert, left, and Isabelle Garcia pose with prizes and trophies after taking the top two spo...

Aliyah Alpert, left, came in first and Isabelle Garcia finished second at the Arizona Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 16, 2024, in Phoenix. Both girls qualified for the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee. (Arizona Educational Foundation Photo)

(Arizona Educational Foundation Photo)

PHOENIX – A home-schooled eighth grader from northern Arizona and an East Valley seventh grader took the top two places in the state spelling bee over the weekend, earning them spots in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Aliyah Alpert, 13, of Yavapai County correctly spelled “volemic” to win the 2024 Arizona Spelling Bee, which the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) hosted Saturday at the Madison Performing Arts Center in Phoenix.

Isabelle Garcia, 13, who attends Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School in Chandler, claimed Arizona’s second qualifying spot for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland. The final round of the national competition is scheduled for May 30. The AEF provides financial support for the girls and their chaperones to make the trip.

How many students competed in 2024 Arizona Spelling Bee?

It’s a return trip to nationals for Aliyah, who tied for ninth as an 11-year-old sixth grader in 2022.

Aliyah and Isabelle topped of a field of 28 spellers who qualified for the Arizona Spelling Bee. The competition started with more than 500,000 public, private, parochial and home-school students in grades 3-8.

“It’s thrilling and inspiring to see the dedication and determination of these students,” Dr. Teresa Hill, AEF deputy director and the 2024 state competition’s coordinator, said in a press release. “Being a champion speller takes thousands of hours of hard work, and it’s exciting to see all of the students showcasing their talents at the bee.”

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13-year-old girls take top 2 spots of 2024 Arizona Spelling Bee, qualify for national competition