Rochester student wins Southeast Minnesota Spelling Bee

Published 7:08 am Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Rochester sixth-grader will advance to the 83rd annual Scripp’s National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. this May.

Roshini Asirvatham’s first place trophy, snagged in the Southeast Minnesota Spelling Bee Tuesday, is her ticket to the Scripp’s bee. Asirvatham was declared the champion of the southeast Minnesota bee after correctly spelling kielbasa.

Twelve students from the southeast part of the state participated at Rochester’s Southeast Service Cooperative Tuesday, qualifying after competing against 64 students in a regional bee last month. Before entering the regional bee, students had to place in their district bees.

Melissa Brown, a Rochester eighth-grader, came in second place Tuesday; Jillian Hanesworth, a seventh-grader from Winona Public Schools came in third place; Megan Klotz, an eighth-grader from Zumbrota-Mazeppa Public Schools, came in fourth.

Two area students were among the 12 participating Tuesday. Ted King, an eighth grade student in Lyle Public Schools competed in the southeast Minnesota bee after winning first place at the regional bee in February. John Ferris, a seventh-grader in Austin Area Catholic Schools, headed into the southeast state bee after winning fourth place in the regional bee.

Roshini’s first place win earned her an all expenses paid trip to the national bee in Washington, D.C., a trophy, a Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, a $100 savings bond and a one-year subscription to the Britannica Online Student Edition.

Brown and Hanesworth also received trophies and subscriptions to Britannica Online Student Edition, among other prizes. Klotz took home a medallion and a Amazon.com gift card.

Other students participating in the Southeast Minnesota Spelling Bee Final were: Lillian Beyer, sixth grade, Winona Public Schools; Angela Dahl, eighth grade, Kasson-Mantorville Public Schools; Emily Hagerott, seventh grade, Caledonia Public Schools; Caroline Handley, fifth grade, Rochester Catholic Schools; Laura Kennedy, eighth grade, LaCrescent-Hokah Public Schools; and Jacob Skold, seventh grade, Wabasha-Kellogg Public Schools.

The Spelling Bee competitions in southeast Minnesota are sponsored and coordinated by the Southeast Service Cooperative and co-sponsored by McNeilus Steel, Inc. and KM Telecom.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee, chairman and CEO of iStar Financial, Jay Sugarman, Merriam-Webster and Encyclopedia Britannica donated additional prizes.