April 6, 2023

AAP staff report

A 14-year-old Indian American girl from Cleveland, Ohio is the new National Spelling Bee Champion. Anamika Veeramani, who tied for fifth place in the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee, emerged from a field of 273 spellers in a 9-round, 3-day event from June 2-4 to become the National Champion in the foremost American tournament that the E.W. Scripps Company has held annually since 1925 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Veeramani, an 8th grader at Incarnate Word Academy in North Royalton, Ohio, was sponsored by The Plain Dealer, a daily newspaper in Cleveland.

The first round was a 50-word screening test using a computer, with 25 words counting toward a preliminary score. The spellers are given points for correctly spelled words and a total of 49 spellers made through to the second round where the single misspelling elimination was in effect.

After passing a first round screening, Veeramani made it through Round 2 by successfully spelling “exacerbate”, then Round 3 with “foggara”, Round 4 with “osteomyelitis”, Round 5 with “miring”, Round 6 with “nahcolite”, and Round 7 with “epiphysis”.

Veeramani reached the final four with fellow finalists in Round 8 including: Adrian Gunawan of Chicago, Elizabeth Platz of Columbia, Missouri; and Shantanu Srivatsa of Bismarck, North Dakota.

Veeramani would move on from Round 8 by successfully spelling “juvia”, and was the lone speller to correctly spell her way through Round 9 with the word “stromuhr”.

Her tournament biography states that her passions include reading, writing, photography and painting. She has also been studying Indian classical music for eight years and the violin for six years. She is a member of her school orchestra, and also enjoys swimming and golf.

Veeramani has earned several awards in science fairs and she aspires to become a cardiovascular surgeon, an author and a screenwriter.

The tournament is sponsored by E.W. Scripps, a nonprofit group educational promotion organization which also administers local spelling bees in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, New Zealand, and South Korea.

The purpose of the tournament is to help students improve spelling, increase vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. ww.spellingbee.com

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