YOUNGBLOOD, SINHA, WHITEHOUSE AND SHARMA
are top finishers at the
2012 PARIS SPELLING BEE
Sunday March 25, 2012 — Forty finalists from 18 elementary and secondary schools
competed in the 5th annual Paris Spelling Bee, held at the American University of Paris.
Spellers were grouped into two divisions: the Gazelles, in third-fifth grades (CE2-CM2), and the Cheetahs, in sixth-eighth grades (6ème-4ème).
In the Cheetahs division, Anita Youngblood, eighth-grader from Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, won first prize by correctly spelling her championship word “putrescible.” Thomas Whitehouse, a seventh-grader from Ecole Active Bilingue Jeanine Manuel, took home the second-place trophy. When judges moved to a surprise list of words, Youngblood plowed through exegetical, benignant, characteristic, blasphemous, saprogenic and visinage.
Whitehouse held his place in the competition with words like erroneous, enunciation, vociferous and ascensor before stumbling on susurration.
In the Gazelles Division: Jahnavi Sinha, a fifth grader from the British School of Paris, won the first place trophy and Adhya Sharma, a fifth grader from the International School of Paris, won the second place trophy. Sinha successfully fielded terrific, pungent, muscular, puree, serenade and parasite before winning with piece. Sharma held her ground with replete, toilsome, microphone, pristine and punctual before tripping on awry to land in second place.
Tying in third place in the Cheetahs division were Pauline Delarue from St Jean de Passy and Yanis Cavrel, from Ecole Active Bilingue Victor Hugo. Phoebe Turner from the American School of Paris, Jeanne Naila Anstyadi and Yu Yoshitake, from EaB Victor Hugo all tied for third place in the Gazelles group.
Dr. Neal Gordon, Dean of the American University of Paris and Vice President for Academic Affairs, dropped in to congratulate the spellers for building rich vocabulary, which he added will undoubtedly help them express their ideas and improve their communication skills in the years to come. Dr. Gordon is also the author of several books, including The Company You Keep, which will be released as a Robert Redford film in the fall.
Thank you to all 98 contestants who participated in the Preliminary Written Round on February 4, and all the finalists who continued on to the Oral Finals last Sunday.
The Paris Spelling Bee is an annual community enrichment event organized by Gifted in France in collaboration with the American Library in Paris. For the second year in a row, the event was hosted by the American University of Paris. Pronouncers for the Gazelles were Charlie Trueheart, director of the American Library in Paris and Anne Swardson, editor at Bloomberg News. Naida Kendrick Culshaw, the external relations manager at the ALP, was the pronouncer for the Cheetahs.
Words for Sunday’s Oral Finals were taken from Spell It! an official study guide published by Merriam-Webster in association with the National Spelling Bee in the United States. The list is often used in regional spelling bees across America.
In addition to the trophy, first-place winners in each division received a one-year family membership to the American Library in Paris along with an ALP tote bag. Second prize winners also received a trophy, tote bag from the ALP and an atelier of their choice at Une Mère, une Fille à Paris. Gifted in France provided the rest of the finalists with medals, certificates and ALP tote bags. They also received prizes from Marc Labat, home-made treats baked by PSB volunteer Kim Siew Ngoh and books donated by the ALP. Starbucks generously donated coffee, pastries and other treats to the audience at the Oral Finals.
Heartfelt thanks go to the Spelling Bee Organizers: Co-coordinators: Helen Sahin Connelly and Ashley B. Miller; Cate O’Connor, principal at the Roaming Schoolhouse; Amy O’Hara; Jude Smith Matisse; Naida Kendrick Culshaw; Kim Siew Ngoh; and Janet Sahin in the US.
Many thanks also to Dr. Celeste Schenck and Susan Mackay at the AUP; Matt Benz; Celeste Rhoads; Derek Fergusan, director at the Roaming Schoolhouse; Julie Harris; Caroline Razat; Rose Burke; Chrise de Tournay Birkhahn; Julie Casara; Mathieu Motta and Philippe Lesne. Finally, a sincere thanks to Frank Connelly for his day-to-day support.
We also want to congratulate our 2010 Gazelle Champion, Tuli Bennett-Bose, who recently qualified to represent Washington D.C., at the Scripps National Spelling Bee to take place in Maryland on May 31st. Tuli moved to the US shortly after her Paris Spelling Bee victory. Since then, she has not stopped entering school, regional and district competitions. Scripps is a highly competitive annual spelling bee in the United States, with participants also from Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Ghana, and the Bahamas. Go Tuli Go!!
Thanks again everyone! Please contact us if you wish to be added to our updates, help us with this massive project, or if you wish to help sponsor the PSB next year. Preparations begin in September with several stages leading up to the Oral Finals in March.
See you in 2013!
The Paris Spelling Bee Team