For the first time in years, a northern Gila County student placed in the top three at the county spelling bee.
Taylor Marshall, an eighth-grade student at the Pine-Strawberry School placed second at the spelling bee held in Globe on Friday, Feb. 3.
“I’m proud we have a winner from northern Gila County,” said Linda O’Dell, superintendent for Gila County schools. “I can’t remember when we last had a winner from the north.”
The first- and third-place students attend Miami Unified. Tristan Aguglia, an eighth-grade student, placed first and will compete in the state spelling bee on March 24 at the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. Andrew Madrid, grade eight, placed third.
Marshall will back up Aguglia as an alternate. Unlike larger counties in Arizona, Gila only sends one student to compete at the state bee.
“Representation is based on population,” said O’Dell.
Payson Unified sent seven students to the competition. From Julia Randall Elementary: Colton Justice (third grade), Rachel Brundage (fifth), Kendall Dugan (fifth), and BJ Paulson (fourth grade – alternate) attended. Rim Country Middle School sent: Chris Kremer (sixth grade), Ashlyn Talber (seventh) and Crystal Kubby (seventh).