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May 25, 2004 > Warwick sixth grader wins annual FUSD Spelling Bee

Warwick sixth grader wins annual FUSD Spelling Bee

by Gary Leatherman

Saachi Gupta, a sixth-grader at Warwick Elementary school won the annual FUSD Spelling Bee on May 13. Coincidentally, the contest was hosted by Warwick this year because Warwick student Sidhant Karamchandani won the contest last year. Raymond Zhong, a sixth-grader at Forest Park Elementary School, was this year's runner up.

The annual FUSD Spelling Bee is a contest among the winners and runners-up in spelling bees previously conducted at 26 FUSD elementary schools. Twelve rounds were required this year to produce a winner. Saachi won by correctly spelling "perlingual," which Raymond spelled incorrectly and clinched the victory by spelling "chlorosis."

"Perlingual" refers to the tongue or to taking medicine by mouth. "Chlorosis" is an iron-deficiency that causes a greenish tint to the skin.

Saachi said she has competed in spelling bees every year she has been in elementary school and won the Bay Area Spelling Bee in second grade. She enjoys spelling bees because she suffers from stage fright except when she is spelling. "The words just come to me," she said. "I don't get that nervous."

Her confidence also comes from knowing that she has put in lots of practice. Her study regimen involves learning three pages of words a day regularly and about 10 pages a day before a contest. Technology has been a big help, she said, because she studies with an on-line dictionary that enables her to hear the pronunciation of each word.

She said she was a little disappointed that the FUSD contest is the last one she will enter. "There are no more contests this year and they don't have spelling bees in junior high," she said. "But it was fun while it lasted."

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