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#Bee’12 : Not just the winner, No.2 and No.3 are also Indian Kids… #USA #Spelling #Championship

It seems Indian kids have really taken a liking to this form of sports in US. Many Indian kids have done exceptionally well and have been consistently winning the companionship over the years.

Yet again, last night in the 2012 championship, all the first three rank have been taken up by Indian kids.

And the winners are:

Snigdha Nandipati, 1st place
U-T San Diego, San Diego, California
Age 14, 8th grade
School: Francis Parker School
Hometown: San Diego, California

Snigdha enjoys reading random facts in encyclopedias, particularly those topics pertaining to science or history. In her spare time, she also likes to read whodunits and adventures, and she collects unique coins from around the world. Snigdha competes in Science Olympiad and has earned several medals. She and her teammates will be attending the California state competition this year. At school, Snigdha participates in math club, MATHCOUNTS, Math Field Day and other math-related events. She attends the San Diego Math Circle each week. Snigdha is an executive member of the school Yearbook Club and she plays violin. She is fluent in Telugu. Snigdha participated in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee, tying for 27th place.

Stuti Mishra, 2nd place
Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Florida
Age 14, 8th grade
School: Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
Hometown: West Melbourne, Florida

Stuti likes to read, write and draw. She is interested in computer art and design, and she is currently learning computer programming. Stuti also likes to swim. She enjoys learning languages like French, and she can speak Hindi and Oriya. At school, Stuti is a member of National Junior Honor Society and Math Bowl. She received state recognition for the Duke Talent Identification Program and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Stuti likes to spend time with her family, especially playing and dancing with her sister. Stuti tied for 19th place in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Arvind Mahankali, 3rd place
Daily News, New York, New York
Age 12, 7th grade
School: Junior High School 74 Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hometown: Bayside Hills, New York

Arvind excels in math and science, and he can sing “The Elements” song by Tom Lehrer. He would like to become a physicist like his role model, Albert Einstein. In both 2009 and 2012, Arvind received an award for high honors from the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. Outside of school, Arvind participates in tennis, basketball, drama and Indian classical music. He speaks Telugu and Spanish, and he enjoys reading. Arvind’s favorite book is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Arvind participated in the 2010 and 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bees, tying for 9th place in 2010 and 3rd place in 2011.

Source :

Excellent Media Coverage of the Event

Unlike here in India where only Cricket & Bollywood (and politics) seems to enjoy prime spots on all media vehicles. The Kids’s spellbee championship is covered extremely well by the media, ESPN does a live coverage of the even and even the press/online media gives it prominent space.

This is what Huffington Post has to say about this year’s championship and its winner. (

Snigdha Nandipati heard a few words she didn’t know during the National Spelling Bee, but never when she stepped to the microphone.

Calm and collected throughout, the 14-year-old from San Diego spelled “guetapens,” a French-derived word that means ambush, snare or trap, to win the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night. She beat out eight other finalists in the nerve-wracking, brain-busting competition.

After she spelled the word, she looked from side to side, as if unsure her accomplishment was real, and, oddly, she was not immediately announced as the winner. Applause built slowly, and a few pieces of confetti trickled out before showering her. Then her 10-year-old brother ran on stage and embraced her, and she beamed.

“I knew it. I’d seen it before,” Nandipati said of the winning word. “I just wanted to ask everything I could before I started spelling.”

A coin collector and Sherlock Holmes fan, Nandipati aspires to become a physician or neurosurgeon. She also plays violin and is fluent in Telugu, a language spoken in southeastern India.

A semifinalist last year, Nandipati became the fifth consecutive Indian-American winner and 10th in the last 14 years, a run that began in 1999 when Nupur Lala won and was later featured in the documentary “Spellbound.”

Wearing a white polo shirt with a gold necklace peeking out of the collar, the bespectacled, braces-wearing teen never showed much emotion while spelling, working her way meticulously through each word. Only a few of the words given to other spellers were unfamiliar to her, she said.

Her brother and parents joined her onstage after the victory, along with her maternal grandparents, who traveled from Hyderabad, India, to watch her. At one point as she held the trophy aloft, her brother, Sujan, pushed the corners of her mouth apart to broaden her smile.

Her father, Krishnarao, said Snigdha first showed an interest in spelling as early as age 4. As she rode in the car, he would call out the words he saw on billboards and she would spell them.
In the run-up to the bee, Nandipanti studied 6 to 10 hours a day on weekdays and 10-12 hours on weekends – a regimen that she’ll need to maintain to get through medical school, her father said.

“She says this is harder than being a neurosurgeon – maybe,” said her mother, Madhavi.

Stuti Mishra of West Melbourne, Fla., finished second after misspelling “schwarmerei” – which means excessive, unbridled enthusiasm. While many spellers pretend to write words with their fingers, the 14-year-old Mishra had an unusual routine – she mimed typing them on a keyboard. Nandipanti and Mishra frequently high-fived each other after spelling words correctly during the marathon competition.

Coming in third for the second consecutive year was Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, N.Y. At 12, the seventh-grader was the youngest of the nine finalists. He has one more year of eligibility remaining, and he pledged to return.

“I got eliminated both times by German words,” Mahankali said. “I know what I have to study.”

Nandipati’s prize haul includes $30,000 in cash, a trophy, a $2,500 savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica and an online language course.

The week began with 278 spellers, including the youngest in the history of the competition – 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Lake Ridge, Va. The field was cut to 50 semifinalists after a computer test and two preliminary rounds, and Lori Anne was two misspelled words away from a semifinal berth. The tiny, blue-eyed prodigy said she’d be back next year.

The highest-placing international speller was Gifton Wright of Spanish Town, Jamaica, who tied for fourth. This week, Scripps announced tentative plans for a world spelling bee with teams of spellers from dozens of countries. Once that gets off the ground, the National Spelling Bee would be closed to international participants.

Also tied for fourth were Nicholas Rushlow of Pickerington, Ohio, and Lena Greenberg of Philadelphia. The excitable Greenberg, a crowd favorite who ran delightedly back to her chair after each correct word, pressed her hands to her face and exclaimed, “Oh! Oh!” when she was eliminated.

Rushlow was making his fifth and final appearance in the bee, and this was his best showing. He got three words he didn’t know – one in the semifinals and two in the finals – and managed to spell two of them correctly before the third one, “vetiver,” tripped him up.

While he was satisfied with his performance, he’s sad that his run is over.

“I’m a has-been now,” Rushlow said.

Statistics from 2012 Championship

Number of Spellers:

  • Total No. 278; 136 Boys (48.9%) 142 Girls (51.1%)

Age Range: 

  • 1 six-year-old (0.4%)
  • 69 twelve-year-olds (24.8%)
  • 2 eight-year-olds (0.7%) 96 thirteen-year-olds (34.5%)
  • 1 nine-year-old (0.4%) 67 fourteen-year-olds (24.1%)
  • 13 ten-year-olds (4.7%) 3 fifteen-year-olds (1.1%)
  • 26 eleven-year-olds (9.4%)

 Grade Range:

  • 1 second grader (0.4%) 43 sixth graders (15.5%)
  • 2 third graders (0.7%) 94 seventh graders (33.8%)
  • 3 fourth graders (1.1%) 111 eighth graders (39.9%)
  • 24 fifth graders (8.6%)

School Type:

  • 193 public (69.4%) 16 parochial (5.8%)
  • 39 private (14.0%) 2 charter (0.7%)
  • 28 home (10.1%)


  • Forty-one spellers are only children.
  • The remaining 237 spellers have 232 sisters and 215 brothers among them.
  • Speller 89 Gifton Wright has 10 brothers and sisters in his family.
  • Five spellers have a fraternal twin, and one speller, 101 Nat Jordan, has an identical twin. Nat’s sister Lily placed 10th in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Family Ties:

  • Twenty spellers have at least one relative (brother, sister, uncle, cousin) who has competed in previous national finals. They are spellers 4, 10, 27, 46, 53, 56, 92, 98, 101, 133, 154, 172, 194, 204, 243, 244, 263, 268, 272 and 273.
  • Three spellers — 56 Ian T. Wendt, 194 LeeAnn Jose and 204 Noah J. Cassidy — have each had two older siblings compete in previous national finals. Speller 92, Vanya Shivashankar, is the younger sister of our 2009 national champion, Kayva Shivashankar.

2 thoughts on “#Bee’12 : Not just the winner, No.2 and No.3 are also Indian Kids… #USA #Spelling #Championship

  1. Pingback: And they did it once again… #Indian kids win/own #SpellingBee | Whatever It's Worth...

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