Ball State PBS Spelling Bee set for March 12

UPDATED MARCH 12, 2022: After nine rounds, Noemi Galan, an eighth grader from St. Michael Catholic School in Muncie, was declared the winner of the 2022 Ball State PBS Spelling Bee!

Galan’s winning word was “coercive.”

Eleven top spellers from area schools competed in the sixth annual bee this morning at Sursa Performance Hall, on the campus of Ball State University.

First runner-up was Aanya Chhajed from Yorktown Elementary School and second runner-up was Lily Kirklin from Selma Elementary School.

Congratulations to ALL of the spellers who participated in the Ball State PBS Spelling Bee!
The bee will be broadcast on Ball State PBS at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 19, and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 26.

UPDATED: The testing window is now closed for our online test. The top scorers on this test will compete in the in-person Ball State PBS Spelling Bee on March 12, which will determine the student from our area who will compete in the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee. We planned to feature the Top 10 at the event but we had a tie for the last spot, so we will have 11 spellers competing this year!

The following students have qualified to compete at the in-person bee:

Chloe Gao – Yorktown Middle School 

Lily Kirklin – Selma Elementary School 

Jake Irving – Royerton Elementary School 

Joshua Thorpe – East Washington Academy 

Elena Simms – Monroe Central Elementary School                  

Aanya Chhajed   Yorktown Elementary School                  

Sarah Glunt – Randolph Southern Jr. Sr. High School            

Danyal Syed – Burris Laboratory School (Middle) 

Noemi Galan – St. Michael Catholic School            

Kara Allen – Union City Community Jr. Sr. High School         

Paleigh Evelyn – Delta Middle School

Congratulations to all the spelling bee participants who took this difficult qualifier test online! We’re proud of their achievements this year, and we know their spelling bee experiences will continue to contribute to the bright future ahead of them. ALL school champions will receive a gift bag full of prizes, including a participation ribbon and a certificate.

MUNCIE – Ten top spellers from area schools are scheduled to compete in the sixth Ball State PBS Spelling Bee, set for 9 a.m. March 12, at Sursa Performance Hall, on the campus of Ball State University. The bee will be broadcast on Ball State PBS at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 19, and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 26.Those familiar with the bee know that the station usually has nearly 60 champion spellers competing on stage. Last year, the Ball State PBS Spelling Bee implemented, through the Scripps National Spelling Bee, an online testing component of the bee that narrowed the field to the Top 10. The same online testing platform will be used for this year’s bee.

Champion spellers from more than 40 schools from Delaware, Blackford, Jay, Randolph, Madison and Henry counties are expected to compete in the first online round.

“Last year’s online round was new for everyone and went very well,” said Michelle Kinsey, Community Engagement and Grants Manager for Ball State PBS. “We feel that because safety of our spellers is paramount that we would again utilize the online testing platform for the first round of the bee.”

If an in-person bee for the top 10 spellers is not possible on March 12 other options are available including a bee via an online conference platform (such as Zoom) or the Scripps online testing platform. This decision will be made in accordance with Ball State and public health guidelines.

The winner of this final local bee will advance to compete in the national finals in May 2022. Ball State University Teachers College has generously contributed the funds to cover the Scripps fees for all of the schools to participate.Presenting Sponsor of the 2022 Ball State PBS Spelling Bee is Family Vision Care. Other supporting sponsors include Boyce Systems, Avila Orthodontics, and Dr. Leland C. Wilhoite, DDS.

Our Speller Shirts Sponsor is the Navient Community Fund and swag bags for our spellers are being provided by the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities. The Opening Word Sponsor will be Scott E. Trout, DDS, and the Champion Word Sponsor will be the Muncie Optimist Club. Community Sponsor is Sam Pierce Chevrolet.

For the official rules, click here.

For more information about the WIPB Spelling Bee, contact Community Engagement and Grants Manager Michelle Kinsey at (765) 285-5887 or