Dillingham Spelling Bee champions fly to Anchorage for state competition

Mar 29, 2017

Ryan Berkoski and Gustina Alexie will represent Dillingham at the Alaska State Spelling Bee in Anchorage on Thursday.

Gustina Alexie, 9, waits with Eunice and Aric Alexie to board their flight to Anchorage.
Credit Avery Lill/ KDLG

Dillingham’s elementary school and middle school spelling bee champions boarded a plane today to compete in the state spelling bee in Anchorage.

Ryan Berkoski, 12, already knows the drill. This is his second year to win the Dillingham Spelling Bee and 

This will be the second time Ryan Berkoski, 12, has competed in the Alaska State Spelling Bee.
Credit Avery Lill/ KDLG

represent his school at the state competition.

“I don’t feel as nervous as I did last time because I’ve done it before,” he says.

Last year, he made it past the first round. In the second round, he was stumped by the word “megalopolis,” which means “very large city.”

Gustina Alexie, Dillingham’s elementary school champion, is in fourth grade. She says that she does feel nervous, but she has been practicing.

“I get my dictionary on my phone,” says Alexie. “I type in the word, and then see how it’s pronounced and learn what it means.”

The Alaska State Spelling Bee begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow. By the evening, one winner will have spelled their way to the top of the competition and will represent Alaska at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.