Winners of the Diamond City Regional Spelling Bee

Winners of the Diamond City Regional Spelling Bee, from left to right, were 3rd place Veeren Sheka, Nazareth Area Middle School; first place Sindura Sridhar, Wilson Southern Middle School; and 2nd place Khalid Tounsi, Exeter Township Middle School.

Sindura Sridhar of Wilson Southern Middle School is the champion of the Diamond City Regional Spelling Bee sponsored by Diamond City Sports.

Khalid Tounsi from Exeter Township Middle School finished second. Veeren Sheka from Nazareth Area Middle School placed third.

The competition involving 24 spellers from 24 local schools lasted 16 rounds. To prepare, spellers studied Words of the Champions, the 4,000-word study resource provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Spellers competed at the F.M. Kirby Center on March 7. Kevin Sickle, president of Diamond City Sports, served as pronouncer for the competition and the judges who tracked every word and verified spelling accuracy were Erika Jacobs, Valerie Monick, James Fedor, and Jessica Sivick.

Sridhar’s winning word was “pervasive” meaning “existing in or spreading through every part of something.” She now advances to compete in the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

In addition to qualifying for the national finals, she also wins the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, a 2021 United States Mint Proof Set provided by Jay Sugarman, chairman and CEO of iStar Financial, in honor of his father. Sridhar will receive the prize in the summer.

In addition, Sridhar received a one-year subscription to Britannica Online Premium, the premier online resource from Encyclopedia Britannica; a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online, the official word source for all levels of competition for the Scripps National Spelling Bee; and a championship trophy.

“This year’s competition posed some unique challenges that these students were able to overcome,” said Sickle. “It was a very good contest, especially toward the end, as three students battled for the championship.”

This is the first year that Diamond City Sports has sponsored the regional bee event. The competition encourages students to set goals and dedicate time to study and prepare.

Participation also provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in public speaking and performing under pressure.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee provides the list of words for the regional competition. The Bee reaches millions of students across the country and in other parts of the world with the classroom materials it provides to enrolled schools. The purpose of the Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

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