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KNOW Summer 2014

as well as spelling. A grasp of etymology, root words, and language of origin are essential to win. Considering that the 2013 final round of the National Bee lasted over 2 hours, spellers also need considerable stamina and composure. Denise Showell, the principal at Hull Middle School, believes Sumedh has what it takes to finish at the top. “He’s a conscientious, hardworking student. He is brilliant, motivated, and very optimistic about the bee.” As Georgia’s representative, Sumedh won a trip to Washington DC with his family courtesy of GAE. During his week-long trip, Sumedh visited the Smithsonian Museum, Arlington cemetery, and many other national monuments. Even Georgia’s congressmen arranged events to wish him luck. However, Sumedh particularly looked forward to a tour of the White House. Susan Tallant, the GAE representative escorting Sumedh and his family to DC said, “We try to make the kids feel important and go all out. We want to thank them for working so hard and representing our state. It’s a lot of responsibility for anyone, especially for a middle schooler. We just want to show our appreciation.” Sumedh still has a lot to look forward to this summer. Immediately after the National Bee, he and his family traveled to India. He’s looking forward to starting high school where he’s particularly excited about taking AP Human and Environmental Science. He’s also already planning on majoring in Business and Computer Sciences in college. Sumedh shows a passion for helping others, analytical thinking, and scientific curiosity. These traits will help him further his career plans of developing and financing sustainable energy. “I love watching what these students can do after the bee,” remarks Tallant. She has been on the GAE Spelling Bee Committee for 15 years and has seen several winners from her district. One state winner, who placed 16th in nationals, graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in economics. Another state winner is studying at Harvard. “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. Win or lose, they always amaze me.” Obviously, Sumedh has bigger goals than the Scripps trophy. “There’s always something to learn,” he advises. “Don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up.” With such an attitude, Georgia already had a champion representative. www.gae.org | 27


KNOW Summer 2014
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