In the Kyrene School District, a virtual bee wasn’t some wild creation by a geeky science whiz for a class project.
It was this year’s version of the district’s annual Spelling Bee, in which Drew Passmonick, a seventh-grader at Kyrene Digital Academy, created a buzz as he won the 2021 championship.
Twenty-seven finalists from Kyrene’s elementary, middle and K-8 campuses participated in the virtual spelling bee in a format altered from the traditional program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spellers had 24 hours to complete an online test developed by the Scripps National Spelling Bee organization, in which they tackled difficult words, such as “kaleidoscope,” “quiescence” and “harrumph.”
Second place went to Lincoln Trembath, a fifth-grader at Kyrene de los Lagos. Kyrene de los Cerritos fifth-grader Conner Trynosky and Kyrene Digital Academy fifth-grader Christopher Humanski tied for third.
Passmonick, Trembath, Trynosky and Humanski advance to the Regional Bee, to be hosted Feb. 20 by the Kyrene School District. It is the next step before the Arizona State Spelling Bee.