Fifth grader Stella Reyes correctly spelled a series of tricky words to win the Bright School Spelling Bee. The top three finishers advance to the Zone Bee this winter.

Stella correctly spelled the word "photosynthesis” to win the bee. Second place was fifth grader Callista Robin Lund. Third place was determined in a dramatic spell-off between fifth graders Luke Gonzalez and Leighton Miller. Leighton clinched third place by correctly spelling the word superior.

The bee went a whopping 28 total rounds with the last 16 rounds being between the top two finishers. Stella spelled the last word by herself, which meant she correctly spelled 28 words, including sauna, elongated and refuge. There were 45 fourth and fifth graders who bravely competed.

The words started out fairly easy with examples like back, tubes and point, but the words became harder and more advanced quickly. The final rounds included words like amphitheater, incarnated, aura and societal.

Mrs. Hyer said the word for each speller, and the judges were Mrs. Reasor, Ms. Henn, and Ms. Pesterfield.