Houston Students Reach Semi-Finals In Scripps National Spelling Bee

Shobha Dasari, from McCullough Junior High School in The Woodlands, and Siddharth Krishnakumar, from Pearland Junior High West in Pearland, spelled their words correctly in round three of the National Spelling Bee Wednesday.

2015 champions
The 2015 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee co-champions pose with their trophies after 15 rounds. From left to right: Shobha Dasari from McCullough Jr. High and Siddharth Krishnakumar from Pearland Jr. High will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Photo Credit: Craig Hartley



It’s the sound that all spellers hate to hear: the ding of the bell.

It means they spelled a word incorrectly and are out of one of the toughest academic challenges in the country.

Fortunately, the bell did not ring when Houston’s two champion spellers – Shobha Dasari and Siddharth Krishnakumar – competed in round three of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Wednesday.

Both of them beat the dictionary and spelled their words correctly.

Shobha, a student from Conroe ISD, spelled the word “epitasis” while Siddharth, a seventh grader from Pearland ISD, spelled the word “trebuchet.”

They are among 285 students who are competing in the bee this week in Washington, D.C.

It’s the first time for Siddharth to compete at the national bee and the third time for Shobha.

Her dad, Ganesh Dasari, said that it will be the last time since she is in eighth grade and will be ineligible to compete in high school.

“We feel a lot more comfortable with the overall process,” the father said.

Dasari said that each time at the national level, Shobha sets the bar higher for herself. This year her goal is to reach the final round.

The semi-finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee will air at 9 a.m. Central Time on ESPN2.


Related article: Students From Conroe, Pearland Share Title As Co-Champions Of Houston Spelling Bee


Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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