13-year-old Indiana boy wins Scripps National Spelling Bee
Mon, June 02, 2008 by Mark Kroeger
WASHINGTON - Sameer Mishra, a 13-year-old speller from West Lafayette, Ind., won the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee Friday night.
Sameer was named the Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion in the 16th round after correctly spelling the word "guerdon," which is defined as "something that one has earned or gained : a reward, recompense, or requital."
Sameer, the son of Alka and Krishna Mishra, represented the Journal and Courier in Lafayette, Indiana, in this year's competition. Sameer is an eighth grade student at West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School.
This was the fourth Scripps National Spelling Bee in which he competed. Sameer tied for 98th place in 2005, for 14th place in 2006 and for 16th place in 2007. Sameer was coached by his sister, Shruti, a former competitor in the Bee.
The championship rounds of this year's Bee were broadcast live on the ABC Television Network.
The spelling competition began Sunday with 288 competitors who qualified to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee by winning locally sponsored bees in their home communities.
Kenneth W. Lowe, president and chief executive officer of The E. W. Scripps Company, declared Sameer the national champion and awarded him the engraved Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship loving cup immediately after the winning word was correctly spelled.
"Each year we host the Scripps National Spelling Bee to celebrate academic excellence and to encourage advanced literacy," Lowe said. "Our congratulations to Sameer who survived 16 rounds of spelling to emerge as the 2008 national champion. We also extend our congratulations to all of the top spellers who participated in this year's competition."
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational promotion. The competition is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E. W. Scripps Company, based in Cincinnati, and 280 local sponsors. The majority of local spelling bee sponsors are daily and weekly newspapers.
The competition was held in the Independence Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Round-by-round results can be reviewed at the Scripps National Spelling Bee Web site, spellingbee.com.
Finishing second in this year's competition was Sidharth Chand, 12, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., the son of Sunita and Naresh Chand. Finishing third was Tia Thomas, 13, of Coarsegold, Calif., the daughter of Pamela and Chance Thomas.
Cash prizes for competitors range from $50 to $30,000 for the national champion. All spellers receive a commemorative watch; the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, which consists of a $100 EE U.S. Savings bond; and Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, on CD-ROM from Merriam-Webster.
The national champion also receives an engraved loving cup; from Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, a $5,000 scholarship; from Merriam-Webster, a $2,500 U.S. Savings Bond and a reference library; and from Encyclopedia Britannica, reference materials valued at more than $3,800.
The E. W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, interactive media, and licensing and syndication.
The company's portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country; daily and community newspapers in 15 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; Scripps Interactive Media, including leading online search and comparison shopping services, Shopzilla and uSwitch; and United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics.