I realize that one student emerged victorious in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee: 14 year old Snigdha Nandipati from San Diego who nailed the word “guetapens.” In my eyes all of the competitors are champs because of their winning temperaments, intelligence and discipline.
These are the ones who stood out to me during the final round.
Gifton Wright from Kingston, Jamaica: The super polite 14 year old met every word he was given to spell with the a “Thank you, sir.” Chalk this up to his coach, who stressed good manners in addition to spelling.
Nicholas Rushlow from Pickerington, Ohio: The precocious 8th grader would ask the judges to spell the word he was given in addition to asking for a definition in a deadpan joke.
Stuti Mishra from Orlando, Florida: Mishra finished second and in addition to her poise was a stand out because of her devotion to her younger sister.
Congratulations to our Georgia contestants. Rachael Cundey and Simola Nayak who made it to the semi-finals. That’s an impressive feat since they spelled against 276 students.
And kudos to the parents, educators, and friends who supported these kids. They could not have made it to the nationals without you!