GILA COUNTY — Twenty-seven students competed last Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Gila County Spelling Bee for the chance to win first place and move on to the Arizona State Bee.
Nerves ran high as kids spelled words from 14 different languages. Seven school districts were represented that included: Globe, Hayden/ Winkelman, Tonto Basin, Miami, Payson, Young and Pine/Strawberry.
The first round concluded with 13 students being eliminated, and by round five, it was down to 2: Dennis Davis and Josephine Klindt, both seventh graders from Miami Junior High.
Round 6 caught both of them off guard with the word flotilla, but by round 8, Dennis was declared the winner by spelling the word Siberian correctly.
Davis now advances to the State Spelling Bee on March 24th in Phoenix, which will be televised sometime in April on Channel 8.
This is his second consecutive year advancing to state.