FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Finalists from The Woodlands and Katy emerge from Houston Public Media Spelling Bee to compete at national bee
HOUSTON – (April 1, 2017) – After competing in nine rounds with 56 total spellers representing 42 Texas counties, Shourav Dasari, a resident of The Woodlands and an eighth grader at McCullough Jr. High in Conroe ISD, emerged as the champion of the 2017 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee, making Raksheet Kota, a resident of Katy and an eighth grader at Beckendorff Jr. High in Katy ISD, runner-up. The two spellers will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, May 28 – June 2, 2017 in the Washington, D.C. area, with an all-expenses-paid trip to "Bee Week."
"Rafraîchissoir" was the winning word for Dasari during the championship round of the competition of the Houston bee, the nation's largest local spelling bee. The final rounds were broadcast live on Houston Public Media TV 8 and streamed live online.
"I'm excited to go back to Scripps because it's very fun and the bee you want to win so I'm happy to be able to go try again," said Dasari.
This is Dasari's third year to compete at the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee and his second year to make it to Scripps National Spelling Bee. He tied for 11th place at Scripps in 2016.
"This is my fifth time at the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee and I've been so close each year," said Kota. "The national spelling bee was always an unreachable dream to me so I'm really happy to make it a reality."
This will be Kota's first time to compete at Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Dasari will be speller No. 200 at the national bee and Kota, No. 254. They will join more than 280 spellers from across the country at the 90th national bee, aiming for the victory and prizes worth more than $40,000. The bee will broadcast live nationally on ESPN during "Bee Week."
Participating spellers in the 2017 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee included 29 girls and 27 boys ranging in age from 8 to 15 and in grades third through eighth, representing 1,151 schools in Texas.
As part of the organization's commitment to education, Houston Public Media conducts, hosts and broadcasts this major spelling bee competition annually. Houston Public Media TV 8 is the first public broadcast television station in the nation to conduct and broadcast a Scripps-affiliated local spelling bee. This marks the ninth year that Houston Public Media has staged this prestigious academic competition and more than 50 years that this event has been held in Houston.
"We’re so proud of all the students who competed in today's challenging bee," said Lisa Trapani Shumate, associate vice president and general manager of Houston Public Media. "Our spelling bee is highly competitive – last year's national co-champion came from our bee and each year our winners are national top contenders. Education is a Houston Public Media mission pillar and we’re honored to organize, produce and broadcast this superior academic competition."
For more information on the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee, visit www.houstonpublicmedia.org/spellingbee.
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