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MMS Student Wins the AZ State Spelling Bee

Karen Opoku-Appoh, an 8th grader from Marana Middle SchoolKaren Opoku-Appoh, an 8th grader from Marana Middle School, has out-spelled 26 other competitors to win the 2023 Arizona Spelling Bee hosted by the Arizona Educational Foundation on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Karen correctly spelled the word “passage” to win the bee.

The 2023 Arizona Spelling Bee event was held at the Madison Performing Arts Center in Phoenix, which was the 25th year the event was coordinated by the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF®). Spellers competed against each other from different school locations across the state. Arizona has one of the largest Spelling Bee participation rates in the nation, with over 484,122 students competing from all schools that are eligible to compete across the state, including public, private, charter, and homeschools.

Karen and her family shared their excitement and pride in her and her competitors.

“We were just talking about how the winning word “passage” doesn’t really tell the whole story of how intense, emotional, and gut wrenching the spelling Bee finals was,” said Mr. Opoku-Appoh, Karen’s father. “All 27 spellers were highly competitive. It was incredible to see kids spell words that are absolutely mind boggling!”

Karen now advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland. The preliminaries will be hosted on Tuesday, May 30, and the Finals are scheduled for Thursday, June 1.

The National Bee occurs during a special “Bee Week 2023,” hosted at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Bee Week is a week-long experience for spellers and their families that includes special events, educational workshops, excursions into Washington, D.C. The AEF supports travel for Karen and her chaperones, along with the student placing second and his/her chaperones, to represent Arizona as official champions in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Karen relished in her accomplishment. “Thanks to Marana Middle School and MUSD for helping me achieve this success. I am so happy and proud to represent Marana Middle School at Nationals.”