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KNOW Summer 2014

26 | KNOW • Volume 12 Issue 2 By May, most students are more concerned with summer camps, sports, or anything else except school. Attention spans seem shorter. Motivation slows to a grinding halt. Everyone is ready for a long summer vacation. Everyone that is except Sumedh Garimella, a 14 year old student from Hull Middle School in Gwinnett County, who represented Georgia at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. Starting on May 28th, he competed with 281 other spellers from around the globe. He had a great showing and finished tied for 13th overall in the competition. Sumedh had been waiting and preparing for this opportunity for six years by studying for, and winning, local and district level spelling bees. On March 21, 2014, he finally won the Georgia Association of Educators’ (GAE) State Spelling Bee held at Georgia State University. After watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee on TV for four years, Sumedh would finally be able to show the world his spelling skills. When Sumedh began competing in spelling bees at the classroom level, national spelling bees and recognition were never his actual goal. He succeeded and continued competing because of his genuine desire to learn. Sumedh, who is also a member of the Hull Middle School Quiz Bowl and Math Counts teams, is passionate about academic competition. His goals are about testing his knowledge and not necessarily nabbing another trophy. Even at the end of the school year, he studies 30 minutes to one hour each day. “I try to find word lists to study, and then I head to the dictionary,” Sumedh explains. His study method hasn’t changed for Scripps; instead, only the difficulty of the words changed. After correctly spelling “ptomaine,” “enterorrhagia,” “gelid,” and “vaporetto” at the state and national spelling bees, one can only imagine what words Sumedh studied. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the largest and longest-running spelling bee. Spellers from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, and South Korea compete for $30,000 in cash and prizes. Students are tested on vocabulary, “The spelling bee is just a stepping stone to greater things for these students. They learn important skills that they’ll use the rest of their academic and professional lives.” By Cora Tallant


KNOW Summer 2014
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