Devireddy Defends District Title for Second Year Victory
Iredell-Statesville Schools held their annual district-wide spelling bee on Thursday, February 7, 2019, in Mac Gray Auditorium located on the campus of Statesville High School. A student from each elementary school and each middle school competed for their chance at the district title.
"Every year the spelling bee offers a time for the district's most talented spellers to come together for competition. Spelling is so much more than basic memorization," explained Kelly Hinson, Director of AIG, IB, and Virtual Learning. "These students exhibit strong decoding skills and great understanding for word meanings and origins. It is truly something extraordinary to watch."
After the rules were explained, a practice round was held to allow the students the opportunity to become familiar with the process.
As the bee started, students one at a time walked to the microphone, waited for the announcer to say their word, and then tried their best to pronounce the correct spelling of the word. Students were allowed to ask for the language of origin, the definition, and for the announcer to use their word in a sentence to ensure the speller understood the word they had been asked to spell.
The words for each round continued to increase in difficulty and the number of spellers on stage decreased. Three students remained when the bee reached Round 7. Two students remained in Round 8: Lina Zobrest, a 6th grader from Lakeshore Middle School and Praneeth Devireddy, a fourth grader from Coddle Creek Elementary.
When Praneeth Devireddy correctly spelled his championship word, "muttonchops," he clinched the victory in Round 9 making him a back-to-back champion in the Iredell-Statesville Schools Spelling Bee. After winning the bee last year at the district level, Devireddy continued on to win the Winston-Salem Spelling Bee and advanced to be the youngest speller in the National Spelling Bee held in Washington, D.C.
As a first year participant of the district bee, Lina Zobrest was very proud of her accomplishment during the competition.
"This is my first year participating in the district bee and I'm going to continue to work hard and come back again next year," stated Zobrest.
Devireddy knows about working hard to reach that goal.
"I worked hard and am ready to take on the next steps," Devireddy said.
We know that a speller like Devireddy must have a tip for spellers in these competitions.
Devireddy shared, "I write on my hand and ask for all the information. I first think of the spelling, listen to the information, and then use that information to change my spellings before pronouncing the word."
Devireddy will get a chance to defend his Winston-Salem title on March 24, 2019, at the Southeast Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.