For the past several months, many Utah households have been studying the spelling, pronunciation and definition of thousands of words to prepare students for the Deseret News Utah Spelling Bee Finals Friday, March 27, at the Salt Lake Community College Grand Theater.

The spelling contest will pit 45 statewide spelling bee winners from public, private, parochial and home schools. Competition begins at 10 a.m. and will likely conclude midday. The public is invited to observe the competition.This is the 22nd year the Deseret News has sponsored the state of Utah in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. Over the years, thousands of spellers have participated in the state contest, and those who have progressed to the national contest have performed well.

Last year Shane Recksiek, from the Murray area, finished 77th from a field of 245 in the 1997 national spelling contest.

Recksiek was sent to the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., courtesy of the Deseret News as will the 1998 winner of the state contest.

The 1998 Utah champion will vie for a share of the $30,000 in prizes offered at the national contest. In addition to the all-expenses-paid trip for two to the national spelling bee May 25 to 30, Utah's representative will receive a Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary, courtesy of Merriam-Webster Inc.

The Deseret News awards the second-place winner $200 in cash as well as Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia courtesy of Compton's New Media. Third place receives $100 in cash as well as a Deluxe Edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, provided by Merriam-Webster. Fourth place receives $75 in cash, and fifth place receives $50 in cash.

All participants will receive a plaque from the Deseret News recognizing their accomplishment as a true champion of their own district.

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Additional Information

Heidi Walker

Alpine School District

Parents: Ray & Dana Walker

Brook Sidney Holm

Beaver County School District

Parents: Rodney & Mary Jo Holm

James Esplin

Box Elder School District

Parents: J. Lynn & Tana Esplin

Halsey Hoggard

Cache County School District

Parents: Kenneth D. & Jan Hoggard

Andrew Bjork

Carbon School District

Parents: Claron & Carol Bjork

Joshua Thompson

Daggett School District

Parents: John & Ruth Thompson

Katie Van Ausdal

Davis School District

Parents: Kevin & Barbara Van Ausdal

Christopher Black

Davis School District

Parents: Craig & Carolyn Black

Ben Farnsworth

Duchesne School District

Parents: Ken & Mona Farnsworth

Sarah Coomer

Emery School District

Parents: Cindy Elsenrath, Ben Coomer

Rosa Lee Thompson

Garfield School District

Parents: Joe & Trish Thompson

Wendy Dalton

Grand County School District

Parents: George & Paula Dalton

Rachel Tate

Granite School District

Parents: Ralph & Susan Tate

Kristen Lindsay Brewer

Granite School District

Parents: Shelly & Kelly Brewer

Bryan Bennett

Jordan School District

Parents: Bill & Loree Bennett

Darren Baker

Jordan School District

Parents: Roger & Linda Baker

Caitlin Elise Holladay

Juab School District

Parents: Clark & Kristina Holladay

Alden Yener

Logan City School District

Parents: Barbara & Muzz Yener

Carole Steed

Kane School District

Parents: Milton & Cindee Steed

Kristina Bauer

Millard School District

Parents: Rick & Carol Bauer

Zach Taylor

Mogan School District

Parents: Ted & Debra Taylor

Sunny Yang

Murray School District

Parents: George Yang & Hsiaowan Lee

T. J. Hairston

Nebo School District

Parents: Tyrone & Janie Hairston

Michael K. Anderson

North Sanpete School District

Parents: Kenneth S. & Hollee G. Anderson

Jackie Rees

North Summit School District

Parents: Dennis & Connie Rees

John Sikorski

Park City School District

Parents: Christopher & Elizabeth Sikorski

Stephanie Sylvester

Piute School District

Parents: Jeri & Kennedy Sylvester

James Jensen

Provo School District

Parents: Richard and Dorothy Jensen

Keith Lillywhite

Rich School District

Parents: Kenneth & Kathryn Lillywhite

Magda Korewa

Salt Lake City School District

Parents: Jackie Osherow, Saul Korewa

David Mark Anderson

San Juan School District

Parents: Lyle & Susanne Anderson

David Ogden

Sevier School District

Parents: Corwin & Linda Ogden

Jonathan Ammons

South Sanpete School District

Parents: Mark & Mindy Ammons

Joel C. Wagstaff

South Summit School District

Parents: Karl & Debbie Wagstaff

Merrita Bates

Tintic School District

Parents: Darla Bates & Martin Bates

Alex Dew

Tooele School District

Parents: Randy & Terri Dew

Aaron Sharp

Uintah School District

Parents: David & Elizabeth Sharp

Amanda Maclsaac

Wasatch School District

Parents: Douglas & Sarah Maclsaac

Justin Reber

Washington School District

Parents: Ed & Soon-Hwa Reber

Tina Jane Peterson

Wayne County School District

Parents: Jeffrey & JaNell Peterson

Elizabeth Stitt

Weber School District

Parents: Roger B. Stitt & Leslie C. Stitt

Kelly Jones

Catholic Diocese

Parents: Cheryl & David Jones

Sarah Drabik

Private Schools

Parents: Charlotte & John Drabik

Justin Arthur Ryans

Lutheran Schools

Parents: Gean & Brenda Ryans

Melody Voss

Home Schools

Parents: Robert & Connie Voss