Faces in the Crowd: Shriya Gangineni

A middle school student from St. Thomas More was recently named the Champion of the University of South Dakota Final Scripps Spelling Bee.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — “Politicking” is the word that won Shriya Gangineni the statewide Spelling Bee held in March.
Shriya Gangineni

Shriya Gangineni

Shriya says, “It was actually one of the easier words that I got through out that competition.”

She correctly spelled other words, like “paladin” and “tarantula” in the competition that she was surprised to win, adding, “When I spelled that last word and then the judges told me I won, just in the moment I was really happy.”

Shriya Gangineni

Shriya prepared by studying a 4,000 word study resource provide by the Spelling Bee, but says you don’t memorize words, but rather study to understand the origin of the word as that may help with more advanced words and patterns from different languages.
“Let’s say if the word is like French, you’re gonna know it is going to be spelled differently how you think that word might be spelled if it’s an English word. So if it’s a French word…you’re going to assume based on patterns that those words have that are French, you’re gonna find a way to spell it, so it does help sometimes,” says Shriya.

Shriya Gangineni

Participation also provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in public speaking and performing under pressure.
Shriya says, “I’m excited because it’s a really big opportunity, but I am also very nervous but what makes it better since the first few rounds are online ya know like nobody staring at me and can just like take it and not be pressured I guess.”
Shriya also plays tennis, piano, and viola, and enjoys swimming and writing poetry.  Her favorite subject is English. She is thinking about a future career in neurology, as she loves science and biology as well.
Shriya Gangineni

Shriya Gangineni with Spelling Bee Trophy

Shriya will represent South Dakota in the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition to be held through virtual platforms for the preliminary and semi-final rounds later this spring. The in-person competition will be held July 8th in Orlando.

Categories: Faces in the Crowd, Local News, South Dakota News