Thanks to these partners for their continued involvement in our community and education.
Study spells victory at bee
Eighth-grader on way to D.C. for national beeBy Brenda Bernet
A faint smile appeared on Anjali Raghuram's face after she was given "assurgent" (meaning rising) to spell in the regional spelling bee Saturday at West Texas A&M University.
"I knew the last word," she said.
Raghuram will represent the Amarillo area for the second time in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. She competed in the national bee for the first time in 2005.
Saturday's contest went to Round 16.
Only two remained in the competition: Raghuram, an eighth-grader from Bonham Middle School, and Christina Benitscheck, a sixth-grader who attends home school in Clovis, N.M.
At the beginning of the round, Benitscheck missed "stratagem" by one letter, opening up an opportunity for Raghuram, who correctly spelled "epochal." Stratagem means a trick in war for deceiving and outwitting the enemy, and epochal means marking the beginning of a new development or era.
Raghuram had to spell one final word - "assurgent" - to win, and she did.
"I'm really excited and thankful I got this opportunity to participate in the regional spelling bee," Raghuram, 12, said.
Raghuram competed with 26 other spellers who were in the fifth through eighth grades from Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
Raghuram said her mom, Anu Raghuram, helped her study.
On Saturday, Anu Raghuram tested her own spelling know-how by writing down every word given to spellers at the contest before they started saying the letters. Anu Raghuram got every one right.
Anu Raghuram is excited her daughter will have another opportunity to compete in the national bee, she said.
For Benitscheck, 12, Saturday's contest was somewhat disappointing.
She participated in another regional bee last year and went to the national bee. She had hoped to return this year.
She was happy about receiving a $2,500 savings bond, though.
"I get money," she said.
Each time Benitscheck stepped up to the microphone, she typically would ask for a definition and take a minute before giving her final answer.
"I step back and mutter it to myself so I don't accidentally mess up," she said.
Rachel Thompson, an eighth-grader at Borger Middle School, studied every night for the spelling bee, starting in November, she said.
Her interest in spelling contests began in third grade.
On Saturday, Thompson, 14, finished in third place and received a $1,000 savings bond.
"I'm happy because it's my last spelling bee," she said.
Top finishers in Saturday's Regional Spelling Bee
1. Anjali Raghuram of Amarillo
Prize: $5,100 in savings bond; all-expense paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., as the area's representative to the Scripps National Spelling Bee; a Webster's Third New International Dictionary; one-year subscription to Britannica Online Student Edition; $20 Amazon.com gift certificate; personal plaque
2. Christina Benitscheck of Clovis, N.M.
Prize: $2,500 savings bond; $20 Amazon.com gift certificate; one-year subscription to Britannica Online Student Edition
3. Rachel Thompson of Borger
Prize: $1,000 savings bond and one-year subscription to Britannica Online Student Edition
4. K'Leigh Duke of Darrouzett
Prize: $500 savings bond
5. Seth Overstreet of Laverne, Okla.
Prize: $500 savings bond
Copyright 2008 Amarillo Globe-News :: Amarillo.com