Stepping into the winner’s circle is not a new experience for home-schooled Aliyah Alpert. The fifth-grader confidently spelled the word “trapezoid” before stepping forward as winner of the 75th annual Yavapai County Spelling Bee on Feb. 13.
It was the third consecutive time she has done so, winning in 2019 and 2020.
In 2019, she was the youngest state contestant in Arizona history, and she placed fifth in the state competition. In 2020 the state spelling bee was canceled because of COVID-19.
On March 21, Alpert represented Yavapai County as one of 27 students from across Arizona when she competed in the Arizona State Spelling Bee. Alpert won 4th place at the state competition.
Alpert received a $300 cash prize and a plaque certifying her as the county champion.
Alpert, who wore a vivid yellow dress decorated with bee images, said: “I’m excited to see how I do at the state bee, and I’d love to get to the national spelling bee. Making the top 50 is one of my biggest goal.”
The second-place winner was Jordan Puster from BASIS School, Prescott. Third place recipient was James St. Laurent of Prescott Area Homeschoolers and fourth place was Logan Dartt from Bradshaw Middle School.
Thirteen students from across the county competed at the bee.
Sponsors for the county spelling included: the Prescott Sunrise Lions Club and the Yavapai County Education Service Agency (YCESA). Jenn Nelson from YSCSA served as the bee coordinator, while Tara O’Neill, a professor from Yavapai College was the pronouncer. Judges were County residents Kellie Burns, Ray Newton and Karen Otis.