Katdare wins Chester County Spelling Bee

DOWNINGTOWN — Soham Katdare, an eighth grader at Downingtown Middle School, practiced spelling more than 4,000 words to make it to the final round of the Chester County Spell Bee on Monday, February 10, 2020. Winning with the word “A-N-A-L-E-P-S-I-S,” Soham will continue on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee Contest in Washington, D.C. that begins on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

2020 Chester County Spelling Bee Champion Soham Katdare from Downingtown Middle School competing in the Spelling Bee.

Last year, Katdare won third place in the 2019 Chester County Spelling Bee. This year, upon hearing his name announced as champion, Katdare was ecstatic. “I’ve been trying to get to nationals for so long. This is the last year I was eligible to compete, so I was scared, but I ended up doing it, and I’m so happy.” Katdare hopes to join the top 50 spellers at Scripps by “looking up a list of spelling words that aren’t orthodox and learning their roots.”

Syreeta Das of Lionville Middle School and Michael Solensky of Hopewell Elementary School tied for second place. The third-place winners were Nishka Avunoori of Valley Forge Middle School, Jenna Hamilton of Scott Middle School, Isabella Sanchez of Collegium Charter School and Greyson Walko of Villa Maria Academy Lower School.

During the event, 49 students from 49 different schools spelled their way through 260 words. Each participant earned their spot in the Chester County Spelling Bee by winning their individual school’s spelling bee. Students prepared for the competition by studying Scripps-provided word lists and practicing at home. Katdare says that repetition was the key to his win: “I had my parents ask me different words and I would spell them out loud. After that, I put the words I got wrong on a special list and I would practice them over and over again.” To improve from last year’s competition, Katdare notes that he “studied over a longer period of time so that I could really get the words into my head.”

As champion, Katdare also received the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award certificate, a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online and a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online. The second-place winners received a Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, a $50 Amazon gift card and a Crazy Letters game. Third place winners took home a Scrabble game and a $25 Amazon gift card.

To learn more about the 2020 Chester County Spelling Bee, visit www.cciu.org/SpellingBee  or contact Jay Stone at 484-237-5053 or JayS@cciu.org.

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