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Stone Hill eighth grader wins 36th annual Loudoun County spelling bee

Anoushka Upadhye (left), an eighth-grader at Stone Hill Middle School, won the 36th Annual Loudoun County Regional Spelling Bee. Courtesy Photo/LCPS
This year's spelling bee winner is a familiar face. Ashburn's Stone Hill Middle School eighth-grader Anoushka Upadhye, last year's runner up, was crowned champion in the annual Loudoun County Public Schools bee March 1.

Though this year's bee wasn't quite as long as last year's, pronouncer Will Waldman did run through the 300 words participants are allowed to study in the official School Pronouncers Guide by round eight, LCPS officials said. Of the 76 spellers representing public and private elementary and middle schools in the county, four spellers reached that stage of the competition — Upadhye, Trailside Middle School eighth-grader Aleesha Khurram, Eagle Ridge Middle School eighth-grader Tryphena Pilli and Newton-Lee Elementary fifth-grader Akansha Bagga.

By round 14, only Upadhye and Khurram remained. In round 22, Upadhye won the competition by spelling cinematheque — a French word meaning a small, one-room movie theater.

She will advance to the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held from May 29 through May 31 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

In addition to Waldman, the principal of Smart’s Mill Middle School, officials for the bee included judges Beth Robinson, the principal of Harper Park Middle School; Chris Cadwell, the principal of Cool Spring Elementary; Bob Marple, the principal of Cedar Lane Elementary; green room manager Andrew Heronimus, the principal of Waterford Elementary; and sound technician Dana Bober, a dean at John W. Tolbert Jr. Elementary.


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