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Forsyth spelling bee awards four finalists



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From left, second runner up Haley Bobersky, first runner up Caya Bennett, winner Anish Bikmak and alternate Aadi Karthink hold their trophies after Forsyth County School System's annual spelling bee. (click for larger version)
January 21, 2014
CUMMING, Ga. — The pressure was on for middle and elementary school students who rigorously competed in Forsyth County School System’s annual spelling bee.

Twenty elementary and nine middle school students who qualified for the bee by winning their various school competitions met Jan. 11 at South Forsyth High School, 585 Peachtree Parkway.

With the competition lasting for an hour and 45 minutes, families nervously watched as it dwindled down to two finalists in the sixth round.

Eighth-grader Caya Bennett of Otwell Middle incorrectly spelled “territorial,” and gave way for seventh-grader Anish Bikmal of Piney Grove Middle to take first place by correctly spelling “vindictive.”

Fifth-grader Haley Bobersky of Chestatee Elementary came in third place, and all three advanced to the district bee on March 1 at Mabry Middle School in Marietta.

If one of these winners is unable to attend, the runner up, fourth-grader Aadi Karthik of Sharon Elementary, will fill in as the alternate, said the school system’s bee organizer Judi Jenkins.

“I think each year the kids get smarter and the words get harder,” Jenkins said. “With all the technology that kids are exposed to today, it is very energizing and encouraging to see such great spellers.”

Jenkins said she was proud of all the qualifiers and believes they love expressing their competitive side.

“They seemed so sure of themselves and very methodical while spelling the words,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said students were encouraged to look up a study guide through the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but there is no guarantee that words used in the county, district or state bees will be in there.

The students are sure to continue their studies for the district bee in March, where winners there move onto the state round to compete for a spot in the national bee in Washington, D.C.

The following students qualified for the Forsyth County School System’s annual spelling bee.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Big Creek — Abhinav Iyer, fifth grade

Brookwood — Maddy Morales, fifth

Chattahoochee — David Gonzalez, fifth

Chestatee — Haley Bobersky, fifth

Coal Mountain — Chayton Thompson, fifth

Cumming — Calvin Norris, fifth

Daves Creek — Pranati Madala, fifth

Haw Creek — Mrunmayee Lele, fifth

Johns Creek — Rishi Gullapalli, fifth

Kelly Mill — Arianna Cox, fifth

Mashburn — Camryn Coen, fourth

Matt — Jacob Hiltzheimer, fifth

Midway — Shrey Shah, fourth

Sawnee — Amihan Spence, fifth

Settles Bridge — Soumya Patel, fifth

Sharon — Aadi Karthik, fourth

Shiloh Point — Arkesh Ray, fifth

Silver City — Jannai Ahadzi, fifth

Vickery Creek — Tommy LeMoyne, fourth

Whitlow — Armaan Anchala, fifth

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Lakeside — Lauren Ward, eighth grade

Liberty — Allen Datu, seventh

Little Mill — Julia Vallier, sixth

North — Hunter Stewart, sixth

Otwell — Caya Bennett, eighth

Piney Grove — Anish Bikmal, seventh

Riverwatch — Julia Chang, sixth

South — Tyler Xu, sixth

Vickery Creek — Hannah Love, eighth

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