Area Students Shine at Dallas County Spelling Bee

Dallas County Schools Spelling Bee 2014

Uyen Le from St. Mark's Catholic School placed first in the private school contest by spelling "exemplar."

The word “catalineta” refers to a type of freshwater angelfish, and it is also the word that an area middle-schooler spelled to win first place in the recent Dallas County Spelling Bee hosted by UT Dallas.

Tackling the tough word was Smrithi Upadhyayula from Coppell Middle School West. She won the public school section of the bee with her correct spelling. The runner-up in the public school section was Amy Tran from Schrade Middle School in Rowlett.

In the private school contest, Uyen Le from St. Mark’s Catholic School in Plano spelled “exemplar” to win the top spot. Stephanie Chacko from St. Pius X Catholic School in Dallas took second.

The University has hosted the last five Dallas County Spelling Bees.

Dallas County Schools Spelling Bee at UT Dallas

Public school winner Smrithi Upadhyayula, Coppell Middle School West

“We are pleased to serve as host for the bee. The students participating in this competition have shown, at such a young age, their tremendous academic potential,” said Raul Hinojosa, director of community engagement at UT Dallas.

The Dallas County champs will compete against winners from 38 Texas counties at The Dallas Morning News Regional Spelling Bee on March 22. From there, winners advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, May 25-31 in Washington, D.C. The bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered by the E.W. Scripps Co. and sponsors.

“The spelling bee is always a special event because of the students who have studied and studied for their moment to shine,” said Carol Canterbury, the spelling bee coordinator for Dallas County Schools.

Dallas County Schools has sponsored the spelling bee for more than 25 years.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].