Home Community Education Heber Overgaard School District Spelling Bee 2016 – 2017

Heber Overgaard School District Spelling Bee 2016 – 2017

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Shown here with Mr. Slade are the winners Justin Van Duesen (on left), an 8th grader who took first place and Lydia Williams a 7th grader who came in second place.

On January 25th the Heber Overgaard District Spelling Bee was held at Capps Performing Arts Center. Having a personal appreciation for spelling bees, this was a favored assignment for me. In this age of computers and spell check I often hear we have become poor spellers and it is considered a malady of the times.


The contestants were 4th grade through 8th grade. There are two classes for each grade totaling 20 contestants in all. The three judges were Tara Lee Porter, Jerod Porter and Marti Ballesteros.


spelling bee heber overgaard az
Agony of defeat – leaving the stage.

As Mr. Tim Slade explained how the spelling bee would go you couldn’t help but notice all the smiling faces and tapping of feet. Just enthusiastic to begin; now that is confidence! Mr. Slade told them when they are given the word to say the word first, they are to spell it out, and when you are done pronounce the word once more to let the judges know you are done. But remember if you start again and change what you originally said you will be dismissed. Just a little pressure; so he had them do a practice round. They are all wearing a number on a string around their neck with numbers one through 20. If a word is misspelled the judges ring a bell and after the round is complete they must walk off the stage.

Judges working hard verifying answers.

The auditorium was full of other students and parents and as each contestant walks up to the microphone for their turn one had to be impressed with their self confidence and the ability to think of the word and process it under obvious pressures.

The last two standing were Justin Van Duesen; an 8th grader taking first place and Lydia Williams; a 7th grader taking second place. The person taking third place will stand in as an alternate along with a list of eight other alternates. They will compete in the County Spelling Bee held at the Snow Flake High School Auditorium located at 190 South 2nd West at 2pm on February 15, 2017.

We would like to post the contestants by grade and class:

  • Mrs. Jackson’s 4th grade class: Jackson Blackburn and Tarianna Ruiz
  • Ms. Holloway’s 4th grade class: Daniel Whipple and Raegyn Cox
  • Mrs. Ballesteros 5th grade class: Morgon Martineau and Keagan Porter
  • Mrs. Maner’s 5th grade class: Luke Crandell and Kyson Owens
  • Mr. Porter’s 6th grade class: Marina Nulick and Tanessa Cook-Martin
  • Mr. Maner’s 6th grade class: Hannah Western and Caitlin Taylor
  • Capps Alternates: Breck Turley, Amelia Jenson, Isaiah Martin, Alex Bencomo, Ellie Hancock and Julien Tomlinson.

For Junior High there were Mrs. Porter’s 7th and 8th grade classes:

  • 7th: Brooke Valdez, Tylinn McLaws, Jabrilo Williams, and Lydia Williams
  • 8th: Justin Van Deusen, Cael Porter, Clancy Reynolds and Malaki Porter
  • Jr. High Alternates: George Farrell and Ashe Tomlinson


I am looking forward to the County Spelling Bee in February. See you there!