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Spelling Bee

Finalists from Katy and Fort Bend County Emerge from 2020 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee

The two spellers advance to the national spelling bee in Maryland.




Victoria Cordova
Houston Public Media

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Champion Keerthana Krishnan (left) and Runner Up Sajid Fahmid (right), with HPM Station Manager Josh Adams

HOUSTON – (March 8, 2020) – Adustiosis. That word earned Keerthana Krishnan the top spot at one of the largest and most competitive regional spelling bees in the nation. The winning word, which means a reddish discoloration of the skin of a citrus fruit, came up during the fourteenth round of the competition.

This was Krishnan's second appearance at the regional competition. She is an eighth-grade student at Beckendorff Junior High in Katy ISD. Sajid Fahmid, an eighth-grade student at Leeman Junior High in Lamar Consolidated ISD, was this year's runner-up.

Krishnan and Fahmid advance to the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee May 24-29 in Maryland. They will face off spellers from across the country for the national championship. The bee finals will broadcast live on ESPN Thursday, May 29 at 6 pm.

Houston Public Media hosts and broadcasts this major spelling bee competition annually as part of its commitment to education. This marks the twelfth year that Houston Public Media has staged this prestigious academic competition.

"Our spelling bee is just one of the many ways that we support teachers and families year-round with learning materials that help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, and build goal-setting skills that will stay with them all their lives," said Joshua Adams, station manager of Houston Public Media.

Fifty-four spellers representing 37 Texas counties and ranging in age from 6 to 14 participated in the 2020 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee. You can catch the highlights and final rounds of the competition at 5 p.m., Sunday, March 22 on TV 8 and online.

For more information on the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee, including speller rankings, visit

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