A way with words shines through for Spelling Bee champ
"I'm overwhelmed," the sixth-grader from Infant Jesus School in Nashua said after winning the bee, presented by the New Hampshire Union Leader and held at the Capitol Center for the Arts. The competition went 11 rounds, with the words becoming more difficult with each one.
"I studied a lot," she said. "Over vacation, it was pretty much all I was doing."
"I'm on top of the world," Shaila Kalpande said.
"I knew it," said Bradley, who had earlier misspelled "bombinate."
"I'm OK with it," she said. "It's been a really great spelling journey."
And, she said, Kalpande deserved to win.
"I'm happy for her," Bradley said.
Every other contestant, and even panel coordinators Katie McQuaid Cote and Christy DeTrude, raised their hands.
It also featured its share of characters, including Kenneth Pawlowizc of Pelham Elementary School, who dressed in a shirt and tie, prompting D'Aquila to say, "Somebody looks ready," and Gisele Dierks of Charlestown Middle School, affectionately described as the bee's "class clown" by Shannon Sullivan, director of community relations for the Union Leader.
As the state champion, Kalpande wins a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
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