AIS student qualifies for state spelling bee

AIS fifth-grader qualifies for state spelling bee
Posted on 02/27/2019

Danbury fifth-grader Sandya Sudarsanam will head to the Connecticut Spelling Bee next week to compete for a coveted spot at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee.

A student at the Academy of International Studies, Sandya will compete against dozens of other fourth-grade through eighth-grade students on March 9 at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford. The state bee is sponsored by Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society.

Since January, Sandya has been studying words and word origins in her school’s spelling club, led by math specialist Marc Poliquin. The club meets the first and last Thursday of every month.

Sandya surpassed 10 of her schoolmates at the school bee on Feb. 15 with her final word: uitlander. She said from studying the roots of 10 languages, she was able to determine the word, which means outsider or foreigner, was Dutch.

“He gave us a folder with words to study and there were 10 languages we had to study. These were selective languages we needed to study for the school bee. Latin I studied a lot, and Greek,” said Sandya. “When Mr. P. gives the lessons, I can figure out word patterns. Whenever he speaks, everything fits together.”

To study for the state bee, she has added Arabic, Asian, Japanese and Eponyms. Preparation for the upcoming challenge means studying words, definitions and origins up to five hours a day.

“I didn’t really know about the spelling bee,” said Sandya. “But when Mr. P. brought it up and I looked at the words, I was really thinking I could do this and I decided to take the step forward. I want to try becoming a champion.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is May 26-31 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, just outside Washington, D.C