Chinle Bee returns after 3-year hiatus
The Navajo Times-Navajo Nation Agency Spelling Bee kicked off the first of five regional qualifier bees in Chinle Feb. 2.
After a three-year hold because of Covid safety precautions in the Nation, the in-person event was filled with competitors, their families, and support staff.
First through eighth grades competed in the qualifier bee.
It was an eventful day. The staff had the administration room filled with snacks, fruits, water, and food for the competitors and their families and guests. The spelling bee lasted about seven hours overall.
The students who participated were a mix of nervous, confident, and relaxed, but they enjoyed the moment.
The seventh-grade round was that of a nail-biter though going thirteen rounds.
Judges had to check the audio on the champion word in round 10. The competition took a brief pause so that judges could listen to the playback as it was said too quickly to be sure.
The audio was played back a few times, with both judges concurring the word “feisty” was spelled “fiesty.”
“Navajo Times is proud to be the official regional partner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in our community for the 2022-2023 school year,” said Olivia Benally, CEO/publisher at the Navajo Times. “Both the Navajo Times and the Office of Diné Youth work together to provide students with the opportunity to compete in the nation’s longest-running educational competition.”
2023 Central Agency Spelling Bee results:
Sponsor – Kuhyonre E. Nata’ani
Champion – Aurora Lane of Rock Point Community School
Runner-up – Dylab Begay of Rock Point Community School
Champion – Aubrey Tsosie of Many Farms Public School
Runner-up – Sierra Benally of Rock Point Community
Champion – Autumn Harvey of Rock Point Community
Runner-up – Marley Wheeler of Many Farms Public School
Champion – Heather Benally of Many Farms Public School
Runner-up – Jace Holiday of Rock Point Community
Champion – Tayden Thomas of Rock Point Community School
Runner-up – Pristine Begay o Many Farms Public School
Champion – Daydynn Begay of Many Farms Public School
Runner-up – Arianna Kee of Cottonwood
Champion – Leanne Murphy ofChinle Junior High School
Runner-up – Honovi Yazzie of Rock Point Community School
Champion – Jacob Etsitty of Chinle Junior High School
Runner-up – Susavannah Lee of Rock Point Community School
The remaining spelling bees will take place in Crownpoint Feb. 9, Shiprock Feb. 15, Ft. Defiance Feb. 16, and Tuba City Feb. 16.