Coronado Elementary’s Jones is top speller in Region 6 bee

Elena Jones, an eighth-grade student at Coronado Elementary School, spelled “vamplate” to win first place in the Region 6 spelling bee, held Feb. 15. She will compete in the state spelling bee March 24 in Phoenix. (Photo credit: Higley Unified School District)

Coronado Elementary School sixth-grade student Elena Jones is the 2018 Region 6 spelling bee champion.

She spelled “vamplate” to beat 34 other competitors and earn first place at the regional bee.

The competition was held Feb. 15 at Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, 22149 E. Ocotillo Road.

Elena, 11, was the runner-up in the Higley Unified School District spelling bee held in January. It was her first time competing, Michelle Reese, the public information officer for HUSD, said in an e-mail to the Queen Creek Independent.

Elena and Devin Reinhart of Cortina Elementary School represented Higley Unified School District.

Rachel Allen, an eighth-grade student from Queen Creek Middle School, won second place at the regional bee.

She and Harley Rogers, an eighth-grader from Newell Barney Middle School, represented Queen Creek Unified School District.

The four girls competed against 31 other spellers from Region 6 unified school districts and home and charter schools who live in the Region 6 boundaries.

Rachel Allen, an eighth-grade student from Queen Creek Middle School, won second place in the regional bee. (Photo credit: Queen Creek Unified School District)

There were 10 spellers from Chandler Unified School District, eight from Gilbert Unified School District and 13 from home and charter schools, Stephanie Ingersoll, QCUSD public information officer, said in an e-mail to the Queen Creek Independent.

Elena said she was inspired to compete by her older brother, who went to nationals a few years ago.

“I wasn’t always good at spelling, but I got better as I applied myself. I couldn’t believe when I found out I was going to state,” she said in a press release. “I thought there would be someone else better than me at the regional spelling bee. … I’ve learned that even if you think you’re not good, you should give it a try anyways.”

Elena said she is looking forward to gaining experience at the state level.

The 2018 Arizona Spelling Bee will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the studios of Arizona PBS, 500 N. Central Ave., 6th Floor, in Phoenix.

The state winner will represent Arizona in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. this summer.

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