Bee Champs Take Word Wizardry to the Next Level
UT Dallas Spelling Contest Winners Advance to Televised Regional Showdown

What does the technical word for a bone marrow cell have to do with a word of German origin that means “spirit of the time”?

Both words earned the students who correctly spelled them a place in The Dallas Morning News televised regional bee, to be broadcast Saturday, March 20.

Lokesh Nagineni, a student from Universal Academy in Coppell, won the Feb. 9 contest for private-school students. He correctly spelled myelocyte, the term for a bone marrow cell. The runner-up in the private-schools contest was Sophie Druffner from All Saints Catholic School in Dallas. A total of 42 students competed.

Emily White, of Richardson West Junior High, correctly spelled zeitgeist to win the public-schools contest on Feb. 16. The word describes the general intellectual and moral state or the trend of culture and taste characteristic of an era. The runner up was Sean Beck of Lorenzo de Zavala Middle School in Irving. A total of 40 students competed.

“Each year, the competitors impress me with their spelling skills and ability to remain calm under pressure,” said pronouncer Sherry Coleman. “I wish both winners – and all the regional contestants – the best of luck at the next level of competition.”

It was the second year for UT Dallas to host the Dallas County bees, which have been sponsored by Dallas County Schools for more than 25 years. Other sponsors included The Dallas Morning News, North Dallas Honey Company and Whataburger.

The University also is the presenting sponsor of the 52nd annual Dallas Morning News Regional Spelling Bee, which will be broadcast live on WFAA-TV (Channel 8) at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 20. Whataburger and North Dallas Honey Company are also sponsors.

The winner of the regional bee will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 31-June 5. The bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Co. and sponsors.

Above:  Lokesh Nagineni, a student from Universal Academy in Coppell, won the private-school contest by spelling myelocyte.  Below: Emily White of Richardson West Junior High spelled zeitgeist to win the public-schools contest.

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