Repeating her winning performance, Snehaa Ganesh Kumar, an eighth-grader at Folsom Middle School, placed first Wednesday in the California Central Valley Spelling Bee finals for the second consecutive year.
Ganesh Kumar became the regional champion when she correctly spelled “paranomia” – an aphasia characterized by the incorrect naming of objects – in competition with 59 other champion spellers from Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Solano, Yolo and Yuba counties. Leland Munn, an eighth-grader at Golden Hills School in El Dorado Hills, placed second.
Wednesday’s win earned Ganesh Kumar a return trip to the National Spelling Bee, to be held in the Washington, D.C., area the week of May 22-27. She tied for fourth place in the national competition last year.
The 2016 California Central Valley Spelling Bee finalists included students in third through eighth grades. Ganesh Kumar first competed for the title as a third-grader.
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More than 250,000 students were eligible for the regional spelling bee. Students who demonstrated their skill in school contests then participated in a written spelling bee in January before advancing to the Central Valley finals.
Wednesday’s competition at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Sacramento was presented by The Sacramento Bee.
The pronouncer was Dennis McFadden, an English professor at American River College. Judges were Margaret Bryan, chief administrator, Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California; Katelyn Phan, a Stanford graduate and company representative for American Furniture Galleries; and Cheryl Dell, publisher and president of The Sacramento Bee.