Word Warriors Battle in County Spelling Bees
Last Year’s Champs Retain Titles, Move on to Televised Regional Bee

In a repeat performance of last year’s contests, Lokesh Nagineni and Emily White won the 2011 Dallas County Spelling Bees at UT Dallas.

Emily White

Emily White sealed her victory in the public school division by correctly spelling legerdemain.

Lokesh spelled chiasmus, which means a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, to gain the edge in the Feb. 22 contest for private-school students. The student from Universal Academy in Coppell edged out Sophie Druffner from All Saints Catholic School in Dallas. The two finished in identical spots in the 2010 bee.

Emily of Richardson West Junior High correctly spelled legerdemain to win the public-schools contest for the second consecutive year on Feb. 24. The word, which describes sleight of hand, originated in the Middle Ages. The public-school runner-up was Tasia Urnov of Highland Park Middle School.

For the third year, UT Dallas hosted the Dallas County bees, which have been sponsored by Dallas County Schools for more than 25 years. Other sponsors included The Dallas Morning News, Community Coffee Cash for Schools and Whataburger.

“As the contestants showed off their smarts by correctly spelling some incredibly difficult words, it was easy to imagine them joining us on campus in a few short years,” Director of Community Engagement Raul Hinojosa said. “These students have what it takes to be successful at UT Dallas. It was great to have the spellers and their families and coaches on campus for such a fun academic competition.”

Lokesh and Emily again won the chance to compete in the annual Dallas Morning News Regional Spelling Bee, which will be broadcast live on WFAA-TV (Channel 8) beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26. The University is again the presenting sponsor of the regional competition. Whataburger and Community Coffee also are sponsors.

The winner of the regional bee will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 31-June 4. 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.

Lokesh Nagineni took home the private school first place trophy again after correctly spelling chiasmus.

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