Homeschooled Sixth Grade Arizonan Eliminated in Finals of National Spelling Bee

Homeschooled Sixth Grade Arizonan Eliminated in Finals of National Spelling Bee

By Corinne Murdock |

Homeschooled sixth grader Aliyah Alpert fell short of winning the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, nearly becoming the first Arizonan to do so in 69 years. 

The winner, 14-year-old Harini Logan of Texas, received cash prizes totaling $52,500, a commemorative medal, the championship trophy, a Merriam-Webster reference library, and $400 worth of Encyclopedia Britannica reference works. 

The last Arizonan to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee was Elizabeth Hess in 1953 with the word “soubrette,” a noun signifying a coquettish or frivolous woman in comedic acting roles. 

In order to make it to the finals, Alpert spelled or defined the following words correctly, in order by round: spelled “nuciform,” an adjective signifying something is like a nut in its shape; defined “malinger,” an intransitive verb indicating someone who pretends or exaggerates an incapacity or illness to avoid work; spelled “dyspathy,” a noun indicating a lack of sympathy; spelled “croupous,” a shipping fever disease affecting cattle; spelled “ostmark,” a monetary unit of the former German Democratic Republic; defined “verklempt,” an informal adjective indicating someone overcome with emotion; and spelled “trevally,” a noun signifying a variety of carangid fish species. 

Alpert misspelled the word “ajivika.” 

Alpert won $2,000 and a commemorative medal for her spot in the finals. 

Alpert faced 12 other finalists: Logan, 14-year-old Shijay Sivakumar of Texas, 14-year-old Abhilash Patel of New York, 13-year-old Sahana Srikanth of Ohio, 13-year-old Sahasrad Sathish of Illinois, 13-year-old Ekansh Rastogi of Florida, 13-year-old Nitya Kathiravan of New Jersey, 13-year-old Vihaan Sibal of Texas, 13-year-old Saharsh Vuppula of Washington, 13-year-old Surya Kapu of Utah, 12-year-old Vikram Raju of Colorado, and 11-year-old Kirsten Santos of Texas.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to