Annual WIPB Spelling Bee To Take Place March 9th

Burris Laboratory School student Alesya Rathinasamy spells a word in front of the judges at the 2018 WIPB Spelling Bee. Photo providedBurris Laboratory School student Alesya Rathinasamy spells a word in front of the judges at the 2018 WIPB Spelling Bee. Photo provided

By: Michelle Kinsey—

Muncie, IN – Fifty-five spellers are scheduled to compete in the fourth WIPB Spelling Bee, set for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 9, in Sursa Performance Hall, on the campus of Ball State University.

WIPB will be broadcasting the regional bee LIVE as well as streaming the event on the PBS station’s website,

Students will compete from schools in Delaware, Blackford, Jay, Randolph, Madison and Henry counties. The Ball State University Teachers College has generously contributed the funds to cover the Scripps fees for all of the schools to participate.

The champion of the WIPB Spelling Bee will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Other prizes for the spellers include reference books, gift certificates and more.

Last year’s WIPB Spelling Bee champion was Alesya Rathinasamy, now a sixth-grader at Burris Laboratory School. Alesya will be back at this year’s bee to compete again for the title. Caleb Roberts, a student at Heritage Hall Christian School, won the 2017 bee, and the champ in 2016 was Samantha Academia, now a student at Yorktown High School.

Each year, in addition to this regional bee, WIPB partners with Motivate Our Minds for a weekly spelling bee club at the center. The club was created to get students excited about spelling, become more comfortable with public speaking and find motivation to achieve their goals. It will culminate in May with a Club Bee that enables kids who did not advance to the WIPB event the opportunity for “bee” successful within the club.

Presenting sponsors of the 2019 WIPB Spelling Bee are Family Vision Care and MutualBank.

Other supporting sponsors include Avila Orthodontics;  Dr. Leland C. Wilhoite, DDS, and Boyce Systems. Our Speller Shirts Sponsor are the employees of Navient and the Championship Word Sponsor is The Muncie Optimist Club

Below are the schools, and their champion spellers, scheduled to compete in the fourth WIPB Spelling Bee:

Albany Elementary School – Peyton Engle

Alexandria-Monroe Intermediate – Preston Pulley

Anderson Christian School – Lilly McIntyre

Bloomfield Elementary School – Nicholas Laux

Blue River Valley Elementary School  – Jordyn Bainter

Burris Laboratory Middle School  – Alesya Rathinasamy

Burris Laboratory Elementary School  – William Villaluz

Cowan Elementary School – Auren Barnell

Cowan High School  – Victor Garrett

Daleville Elementary School – Ava Shulz

Deerfield Elementary School – Mariana Flores-Santos

Delta Middle School  – Brandon Isler

East Elementary School – Shaun Hathcoat

East Jay County Middle School  – Blake Kahlig

East Washington Academy – Jayce Burkhart

Eastside Elementary School – Kayla Donald

Eaton Elementary School – Olivia Marshall

Frankton Elementary School – Braxton Mort

General Shanks Elementary School   – Grant Linville

Heritage Hall Christian Elementary School  – Cergio Diaz

Heritage Hall Christian Middle School  – Ashton Creamer-Lane

Highland Middle School – Kirsten McNeal

Homeschool Explorers – Isaiah Schlenker

Lee L Driver Middle School – Andrew Toney

Liberty Christian Elementary School  – Anna Chappell

Longfellow Elementary School – Kayla Shaw

Maple Ridge Elementary School  – Jayden Sorrell

Monroe Central Elementary School  – Aaron Lord

Montpelier School  – Madison Henderson

North Side Elementary School (Union City) – Vanderlei Burkett

North Side Elementary School (Hartford City) – Rylee Dunica

North View Elementary School – Sophia Hess

Northside Middle School – Charles Graham

Pendleton Elementary School – Gavin Yarger

Randolph Southern Elementary School  – Mia Saylor

Redkey Elementary School – Savannah Hammond

Royerton Elementary School – Jocelyn Mitchell

Selma Elementary School – Penelope Carl

Selma Middle School  – Kody Lingenfelter

South View Elementary School – Prestyn Shockley

Southside Middle School – Maela Cole

St. Lawrence Elementary School  – Ce’Azyiah Banks

St. Mary School  – Shae Punzal

St. Pope John Paul II Middle School  – Marrin Allen

Union City Community Jr/Sr High School  – Nautica Buck

Union Elementary School (Modoc)  – Reed Wicker

Union Jr/Sr High School (Modoc)  – Chloe Wicker

Wes-Del Elementary School – Teegan Jones

Wes-Del Jr/Sr High School – Trooper Bullock

West Jay County Middle School  – Dylan Barnes Plessinger

West View Elementary School – Kachtiana Quate

Westlawn Elementary School – Julius Fields

Willard Elementary School – Aiden Mendenhall

Yorktown Elementary School – Liam Jenkins

Yorktown Middle School – Mahathi Raju









A Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate, WIPB-TV is licensed to Ball State University and serves nearly 1.5 million people in east central Indiana and western Ohio. WIPB endeavors to educate, entertain and engage the communities we serve through distinctive television programs and enriching community engagement. For more information call 800-252-9472 or visit WIPB online at