University Relations and Communications

Montana's best spellers converge on MSU Billings for state championship

March 21, 2012



Kim Schweikert, MSUB Downtown, 896-5888
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Nearly 70 top spellers from across Montana will be at Montana State University Billings on Saturday, March 24  for the 47th annual Treasure State Spelling Bee.



The state championship spelling event, which begins at 1 p.m. in Petro Theatre at the MSU Billings campus, is open to the public and features the top grade school and middle school spellers from every county in Montana. It is co-sponsored by MSU Billings and Lee Enterprises newspapers of Montana. Those are The Billings Gazette, the Missoulian in Missoula, The Montana Standard in Butte and the Independent Record in Helena.


The state champion will receive a plaque as well as a trip to the 89th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. for him/herself and an escort at end of May. The state champ also receives a copy of Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Unabridged Dictionary, a $100 U.S. Savings Bond and a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online.


The pronouncer for the bee is Jaclyn Rooney, a former Treasure State Spelling Bee champion. Judges are Diane Svee, former Treasure State Bee director, Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County Commissioner, and Julia Lillithun, Yellowstone County Bee director. The master of ceremonies will be Dr. Mark Pagano, provost and academic vice chancellor at MSU Billings.


County champion spellers, the county they represent and the grade in school are below. Those with an asterisk (*) are returning spellers to the state championship. (Some counties, because of their population size, have more than one speller entered in the state bee.)

  • Erin Dringman, Sweetgrass, 8, Melville School, Melville
  • Samantha Arzy, Yellowstone, 6, Bench Elementary, Billings
  • Buddy Shaw, Petroleum, 8, Winnett School, Winnett
  • Alexandria Preso, Gallatin, 8, Anderson School, Bozeman
  • Jory Hopewell, Butte-Silver Bow, 6, Emerson School, Butte
  • Angel Dugan, Pondera, 5, Prairie View School, Conrad
  • Christian Pfeifer, Yellowstone, 7, Shepherd Junior High, Shepherd
  • Arnold Smithson, Madison, 7, Sheridan School, Sheridan
  • Aspen Checketts, Musselshell, 8, Melstone Public School, Melstone
  • Rebecca Pluth, Mineral, 7, Alberton Public School, Alberton
  • Ashley Millhollin, Rosebud, 8, Frank Brattin Middle School, Colstrip
  • Bailey Taylor, Glacier, 5, Anna Jeffries Schools, Cut Bank
  • Brie  Buchanan , Gallatin, 6, Sacajawea Middle School, Bozeman
  • Andrue Johnson, Golden Valley, 6, Rygate Elementary, Ryegate
  • Matthew Sharp, Treasure, 7, Hysham Public Schools, Hysham
  • Kyle Finch, Beaverhead, 8, Dillon Middle School, Dillon
  • Rachel Walker, Carter, 8, Ekalaka Jr. High, Ekalaka
  • Gabriel Wears, Prairie, 6, Terry Public Schools, Terry
  • Abbey Arlint, Sanders, 6, Thompson Falls, Thompson Falls
  • Matthew Chaplin, Ravalli, 8, Stevensville School, Stevsville
  • Olivia Kapan, Lincoln, 5, Libby Elementary, Libby
  • Dawson Clayton, Meagher, 6, White Sulfur Springs Elementary, White Sulphur Springs
  • Aspen Houseman, Judith Basin, 5, Stanford Public School, Stanford
  • Sean Tuttle , Jefferson, 6, Montana City School, Montana City
  • *Brooke Woods, Liberty, 7, Chester-Joplin-Inverness, Chester
  • Kennedy Gray, Cascade, 7, Foothills Community Christian , Great Falls
  • Cassidy Wetzel, Valley, 8, Glasgow High School, Glasgow
  • Judith Jerry, Bighorn, 5, Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy, St. Xavier
  • Matt Haman, Carbon, 8, Roosevelt Middle School, Red Lodge
  • Sophia Skwarchuk, Flathead, 7, Stillwater Christian School, Kalispell
  • Nicolas Curren, Sheridan, 8, Medicine Lake School, Medicine Lake
  • Sophia Barton, Powell, 5, Granville Stuart, Deer Lodge
  • T. J. Knoll, Lake, 7, Arlee Public Schools, Arlee
  • Sam Person, Missoula, 7, Lolo Elementary, Lolo
  • Audrie Parke, Granite, 8, Drummond Junior High, Drummond
  • Mickyla Sun Child, Hill, 7, Havre Middle School, Havre
  • Isabelle Monroe, Custer, 8, S. H. School, Miles City
  • Allison Miller, Lewis and Clark, 8, C. R. Anderson Middle School, Helena
  • Bailey Radke, Wibaux, 6, Wibuax Elementary School, Wibaux
  • Zachary Schermele, Cascade, 5, Lewis & Clark Elementary, Great Falls
  • Michael Warburton, Blain, 7, Zurich School, Zurich
  • Jazmyn Austin, Flathead, 8, Evergreen Junior High, Kalispell
  • Allex Bowman, Stillwater, 8, Columbus Middle School, Columbus
  • Cheyenne Zepnick, Flathead, 7, Whitefish Middle School, Whitefish
  • Blake Sjostrom, Phillips, 7, Malta Middle School, Malta
  • Elijah Cahoon, Lake, 7, Ronan Middle School, Ronan
  • Clayton Long, Missoula, 5, Frenchtown School, Frenchtown
  • *Ethan Dolechek, Dawson, 7, Washington Middle School, Glendive
  • Andrew Wambach, Teton, 6, Fairfield School, Fairfield
  • Christopher Kerbs, Chouteau, 7, Fort Benton School, Fort Benton
  • Trevor Canty, Yellowstone, 8, Will James Middle School, Billings
  • Trever Cullen, Toole, 7, Sunburst Public School, Sunburst
  • Zachary Thomas, Butte-Silver Bow, 6, Kennedy School, Butte
  • Aaron Maxwell, Deer Lodge, 5, Lincoln Elementary, Anaconda
  • Jackson Hall, Yellowstone, 7, Home Schooled, Billings
  • Nick Sundberg, Ravalli, 8, Stevensville School, Stevenville
  • *William Stukaloff, Lewis and Clark, 7, C. R. Anderson Middle School, Helena
  • *Harrison Maughan, Missoula, 8, C. S. Porter Middle School, Missoula
  • Luke Turek, Richland, 6, Rau Elementary, Sidney
  • Paige Robinson, Park, 7, Gardiner Middle School, Gardiner
  • Riley Nicholas, Gallatin, 6, Belgrade Intermediate, Belgrade
  • Ramsey Bailey, McCone, 8, Redwater Elementary School, Circle
  • Rachel Hiner, Wheatland, 8, Harlowton Junior High, Harlowton
  • *Julie Phipps, Garfield, 8, Pine Grove Elementary, Brusett
  • Sophia DiLorenzo, Cascade, 5, Loy Elementary, Great Falls
  • *Madelyn Kirsch, Fergus, 7, Lewistown Junior High, Lewistown
  • Ernest Uy, Roosevelt, 5, Frontier Elementary, Wolf Point

For more information, contact Kim Schweikert, senior programmer for MSU Billings Downtown, at 896-5888.