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Weddington Middle School's Ashwin Subramaniam is 'top UCPS speller'

Students from 39 Union County Public Schools competed in the Jan. 18, 2012 spelling bee, held at Central Academy of Technology and Arts. Weddington Middle School sixth grader Ashwin Subramaniam won the title of UCPS spelling bee champion.

After 37 rounds at Wednesday’s (Jan. 18, 2012) Union County Public Schools’ 2012 Spelling Bee it began to look like officials would run out of words before a winner would be realized.

Finally, two and a half hours after it began, Weddington Middle School sixth grader Ashwin Subramaniam won the title of UCPS spelling bee champion for correctly spelling “lycanthropy,” a noun of Greek origin, which means a person who has delusions of being an animal, usually a wolf, or other predatory animal.

“I just spelled the best I could, but I went through some difficulty,” Ashwin said. “Some of those words I didn’t even know. For the winning word, I just used the Greek stem and somehow got it right. I can’t believe it myself. It’s just amazing.”

His parents, Hari and Sumi Subramaniam, were on hand for their son’s victory. His mother is Ashwin’s spelling coach.

“We’ve been working diligently for the past four years,” she said. “I would really like to thank my son for his hard work, dedication and sincerity. He puts so much effort into this. It’s his dream to go to DC (for the national competition).”

The runner-up was Dominick DePaola III, a fourth grader from New Town Elementary, the son of Dominick and Cindy DePaola. Dominick will represent the school system in the event Ashwin cannot attend the regional competition next month.

Dominick made it through 37 rounds of the competition, but lost the battle on the word “yosenabe,” a noun of Japanese origin meaning soup with seafood and vegetables.

“It’s crazy. I can’t believe I got that far only being in fourth grade,” Dominick said. “It’s been an amazing experience.”

At the close of competition, Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis, congratulated all competitors. “You’re all winners,” he said. “All of you represented your school and your family with dignity and pride today. I’m so impressed with the poise and grace that you showed.”

Ashwin will now represent UCPS at the Charlotte Observer Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 20, 2012, at ImaginOn in Charlotte.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Jan 18, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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