Payson is abuzz with spelling bee winners' names from local and county competitions this week.
Rim Country Middle School seventh grader, Emily Price, was the overall winner for the Gila County Spelling Bee held in Globe on Feb.1 at Miami High School.
Price now goes on to the state competition at Channel Eight on the ASU campus in Tempe on March 29 to compete with winners from all of Arizona's school districts.
"It was a thrill to go to the state competitions last year," said Wanda Utz with the school district. "We didn't win, but maybe this year we can. It would be really exciting to go to the national competition later this year," said Utz.
She said Price received a glass trophy for winning the county spelling bee, and if she wins at the state level, she will also get a trophy, but if Price can make it to the national competition, she could win a scholarship.
Price wasn't the only student in Payson placing in local and county spelling bees.
The Payson Community Christian School had its spelling bee last week and no less than 15 of the students placed.
Two students at Payson Community Christian School scored; Dontay McNiel took second place overall, and Marissa Mathews took third place overall.
They will go on to regional competition at Grace Community Christian School on Feb. 23 in Tempe.
In the first grade, Trevon Thurman took fifth place, while Kody Felton finished in sixth place.
Second-grader, Cassie Nell, won sixth place for her grade class and Shiloh Ellis ended in seventh.
At the third-grade level, Preston Miller took home eighth place.
Among fourth-graders, John Hughes took top honors with first place, while Oliver Driscoll-Lowe spelled his way to fourth place.
Marissa Mathews took first place for the fifth-graders and Dontay McNeil brought up the second-place slot.
Colton Dubell placed third and Kayla Burger ended in sixth place in the sixth-grade class of competition.
Fourth place for seventh- and eighth-place winners went to Kevin Weaver in the seventh-grade class and Megan Wakefield for the eighth grade.
The seventh grade first-place winner was Mira Richey.