Education News

Former Spelling Champion Has This Advice For Houston Students

More than 50 students will compete Saturday in the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee.


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Syamantak Payra competing in the 2014 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee


For two years in a row, Syamantak Payra was named a champion in the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee. Now that he’s a freshman in high school, he can’t compete anymore.

But this 13-year-old is keeping very busy.

“For fun, I love learning about computers and cars and other emerging technologies,” he said.

Instead of spelling, he’s been competing in other academic events, like the chemistry olympiad and the state science and engineering fair.

Plus he plays the violin. And he’s learning Mandarin Chinese.

How is he able to keep up? Syamantak gives a lot of credit to his spelling bee career.

“The amazing work ethic, and the study skills that you develop, having to learn new things over an extended period of time,” he explained. “This helps prepare you for school later on in life as well as learning.”

His advice for other students: keep studying, work hard and don’t lose sight of those intangible benefits.

More than fifty students will compete Saturday in the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee. It’s the second largest bee in the country for students to qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.


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