Nineteen students from Higley Unified School District competed in this year's districtwide Spelling Bee, which took place on Thursday, Jan. 21 at the Higley Center for Performing Arts.
This year's winner, Mohamadou Ba, is a sixth grader at Bridges Elementary School. Jiya Jacob, a seventh grader at Sossaman Middle School, was the runner-up.
Mohamadou, who participated in the District Spelling Bee in previous years, said a lot of work went into preparing for this competition. Although he was excited to win, Mohamadou recognized that winning wasn't everything and acknowledged the other contestants' hard work and dedication.
Mohamadou and Jiya will both advance and represent the District at the Maricopa County Regional Spelling Bee, which will be hosted by Chandler Unified School District on Feb. 16, 2021.
The District's Spelling Bee was made possible through the support and hard work of Higley Unified employees, including the event coordinator, Jodi Walker; moderator, Angela Walker; pronouncer, Dan Brehony, and judges Dr. Dawn Foley, Sherry Richards, David Loutzenheiser, and Melanie Schneider.
As a precaution, all of the spellers, judges, guests and the word pronouncer wore protective masks. Parents were invited to attend the event, which took place at the Higley Center for Performing Arts, but other guests were not allowed.