Santa Fe sixth-grader wins statewide spelling bee
It took over three hours of spelling encompassing 15 rounds of words, and when it was over, a Santa Fe sixth-grader emerged as this year’s winner of the New Mexico Spelling Bee on Saturday.
According to several news sources, including the Albuquerque Journal, Akansha Nanda, 11, a student at Carlos Gilbert Elementary School, bested 45 competitors by correctly spelling “Mozambique” — a traditional lightweight African fabric named after the East African country of the same name.
She will represent New Mexico at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., during Bee Week, scheduled for May 27 through June 1.
Nanda has participated in county and state spelling bees for several years. In 2017, for example, she won the county spelling bee and placed third at state. This year, she placed third at the county bee — which ensured her participation in Saturday’s event — and placed first at state.
Eliana Juarez from Rio Rancho took second place in Saturday’s competition, which took place at Sandia Prep in Albuquerque.
This was New Mexico’s 71st-anniversary bee, in which students in grades 4-8 can participate. The words are provided by Scripps National Spelling Bee’s Local Bee List Book and come from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and its addendum, Merriam-Webster. Participating students can access study guides to cram in advance.