2019 WIPB Spelling Bee

Winchester student wins 2019 Bee

MUNCIE – Andrew Toney spelled his way to the top spot at the fourth WIPB-TV Spelling Bee on Saturday, March 9.

WIPB aired the event LIVE and streamed it on our web site. Watch it here.

Toney, a seventh grade student, will now go on to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May near Washington, D.C.

Fifty school champions from Delaware, Jay, Blackford, Randolph, Madison and Henry counties competed this year in Sursa Performance Hall, on the campus of Ball State University.

The first runner-up was Trooper Bullock from Wes-Del Jr./Sr. High School and the second runner-up was Mahathi Raju, a student at Yorktown Middle School.

Pronouncer was BSU English professor Lynne Stallings. Judges were Stephanie Wiechmann, host of Indiana Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and Monique Armstrong, Assistant Director of Community Development for the City of Muncie. Recorder was Kamna Agarwal, occupational therapist a long-time spelling bee coach.

Ball State University Teachers College generously contributed the funds to cover the Scripps fees for all of the schools to participate. Anita Welch, Associate Dean of Ball State Teachers College was one hand to watch the competition and congratulate the winners.

“These are our future, all of these students,” she said. “It is our obligation as educators to help them succeed in all their aspirations.”

Toney was first runner-up in last year’s WIPB Spelling Bee and through the Scripps RSVBee Program, he traveled to the national competition. RSVBee was launched by the Scripps National Spelling Bee last year to provide an opportunity for more spellers to participate in the National Finals in the Washington, D.C. area. The invitational program provides an additional path for spelling champions to experience Bee Week and compete in the national finals.

Last year’s WIPB Spelling Bee champion was Alesya Rathinasamy, now a sixth-grader at Burris Laboratory School. Caleb Roberts, a student at Heritage Hall Christian School, won the 2017 bee, and the champ in 2016 was Samantha Academia, now a student at Yorktown High School.

Presenting sponsors of the 2019 WIPB Spelling Bee were Family Vision Care and MutualBank. Other supporting sponsors include Avila Orthodontics; Dr. Leland C. Wilhoite, DDS, and Boyce Systems. Our Speller Shirts Sponsor are the employees of Navient and the Championship Word Sponsor is The Muncie Optimist Club

For the official rules, click here.

For more information about the WIPB Spelling Bee, contact Community Engagement Manager Michelle Kinsey at (765) 285-5887 or mkinsey@nullbsu.edu.