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Brandon’s Ryan Presler Wins State Spelling Bee

Photo of Ryan Presler. Ryan Presler from Brandon Valley Middle School won this year's Scripps Spelling Bee hosted at USD.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The state’s top spellers competed at the University of South Dakota for the Scripps Spelling Bee state final on Saturday, March 17, with last year’s second-place winner, Ryan Presler from Brandon Valley Middle School, taking home this year’s top prize.

The championship winning word was “theomachy,” a noun meaning a battle or strife among the gods.

After advancing through school and regional competitions, 15 spellers competed for a chance to attend the Scripps National Spelling Bee hosted in Washington, D.C. in May. The Scripps Spelling Bee has been sponsored by USD since 2012. A complete list of competitors is below.

The oral bee winners were:
1st place - Ryan Presler, Brandon Valley Middle School, Grade 7
2nd place - Nathan Gemechis, George S. Mickelson Middle School, Brookings, Grade 7
3rd place - Kamil Schorn, Jolley Elementary School, Vermillion, Grade 4

The written test winners were:
1st place - Ryan Presler, Brandon Valley Middle School, Grade 7
2nd place - Sam Pardy, O’Gorman Jr. High School, Sioux Falls, Grade 8
3rd place - Christine Addo, Dakota Valley Middle School, Grade 7

A full list of competitors.

Jamie Robbins - Watertown
Mason Davis - Huron
Kaydence Johnson - Rapid City
Kamil Schorn - Vermillion
Christine Addo - Dakota Dunes
Odysseus Wernke - Castlewood
Sam Pardy - Sioux Falls
Olivia Miller - Rapid City
Nathan Gemechis - Brookings
Katie Schulte - Yankton
Carson Weiner - Sioux Falls
Noah Beck - Huron
Mya Halverson - Vermillion
Ryan Presler - Sioux Falls
Brady Tryon - Summerset


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News