February 1, 2019



2019 District Spelling Bee Winners

THE TOP THREE — Makenzi Swindle (left), Owen Norwalk (center) and Aryan Sant placed in the Top 3 during the 2019 IPS District Sperlling Bee on January 25. They along with 15 other top spellers in the district will begin preparing for the Marion County Regional Spelling Bee in March.




Owen Norwalk, Aryan Sant and Makenzie Swindle walked away as the first- second- and third-place winners, respectively, in the 2019 IPS District Spelling Bee on Friday, January 25.


And they have the trophies to prove it!


They, along with 15 other IPS students in Grades 4-8, are preparing for the next round of competition: the 2019 Marion County Regional Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 16, at the IUPUI Campus Center Theater.2019 IPS District Spelling Bee


The ultimate goal is a seat on the national stage during this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.  


More than 40 IPS students participated in the districtwide bee inside Anderson Auditorium on the campus of Arsenal Technical High School.


The 18 IPS students moving on to the regional bee are:


1st-place winner: Owen Norwalk, seventh grade, Center for Inquiry School 84

2nd-place winner: Aryan Sant, fourth grade, Sidener Academy for High Ability Students

3rd-place winner: Makenzi Swindle, sixth grade, George Washington Carver School 87


  • Auriana Shabazz, eighth grade, Edison School of the Arts 47
  • Kevin Acosta, seventh grade, Harshman Middle School
  • Cole Weidenbach, seventh grade, Center for Inquiry School 2
  • Colvin Meek, fourth grade, Center for Inquiry School 84
  • Desmond Francis, fifth grade, Center for Inquiry School 70
  • Ebony Harris, eighth grade, Northwest Middle School
  • Edgar Hernandez, sixth grade, Lew Wallace School 107
  • Adrian Tapia, fifth grade, Meredith Nicholson School 96
  • Damon Ballard, eighth grade, George Washington Carver School 87
  • Elliot Hunt, seventh grade, Rousseau McClellan School 91
  • Nathan Durcholz, seventh grade, Center for Inquiry School 27
  • Lillaina Sams, eighth grade, James A. Garfield School 31
  • Karenna Smith, fourth grade, Daniel Webster School 46
  • Kian Kirkpatrick, fifth grade, Center for Inquiry School 2
  • Williams Jenkins, sixth grade, Francis W. Parker School 56


Owen, who studied for the district bee from a list featuring 14 languages and more than 1,000 words, said during a recent interview on WISH-TV that he was pretty comfortable during the district bee competition because he studied a lot.


He plans to study the same way for the regional bee.


“I think I’m going to prepare the same way … (studying) each language during the day and my family can review the words with me at night,” said Owen. “And maybe do Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day because they give you random words.”