Pragya Kansal, a sixth-grader at Frank C. Whiteley School, won the District 15 Spelling Bee, which was held Monday, Jan. 14, at Walter R. Sundling Junior High.
Pragya held off a game challenge by second-place finisher Tim Okonek, a sixth-grader at Marion Jordan School. The two went back and forth for five rounds before Pragya won the contest in the 23rd round. Her winning word was amicable.
Pragya and Tim both won their respective school spelling bees to advance to the District competition, as did 17 other students: Jon Dickerson, grade 4, Jane Addams School; Andrew An, grade 6, Central Road School; Joseph Runde, grade 6, Kimball Hill School; Hannah Lin, grade 6, Hunting Ridge School; Mae Wu, grade 6, Thomas Jefferson School; Amaya Rivera, grade 6, Lake Louise School; Shruti Satish, grade 6, Lincoln School; Gabriella Cherian, grade 5, Stuart R. Paddock School; Jack Raker, grade 6, Pleasant Hill School; Kacper Drwenski, grade 6, Gray M. Sanborn School; Kiley Fletcher, grade 6, Virginia Lake School; Anisha Gummadi, grade 5, Willow Bend School; Kinllen Peng, grade 5, Winston Campus Elementary; Emily Walters, grade 7, Carl Sandburg Junior High; Kevin Chen, grade 7, Plum Grove Junior High; Varun Cidambi, grade 7, Walter R. Sundling Junior High; and Natalia Koval, grade 7, Winston Campus Junior High.
Pragya will now move on to compete in the Suburban Cook Northern Area Spelling Bee, which will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth. The winner of that contest will advance to compete in the Suburban Cook County Spelling Bee, which will be Thursday, Feb. 21, at Mannheim Middle School in Melrose Park.
The winner of the Suburban Cook County Spelling Bee will advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be May 26 to June 1 in Washington, D.C.
For information, contact Mary Zarr, assistant superintendent for curriculum, special services, and school improvement, at (847) 963-3106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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