It all came down to “guetapens,” a French word meaning trap or snare. Luckily for Snigdha Nandipati, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Francis Parker School in La Jolla, CA, she had studied the word and knew how to spell it when it meant winning the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Snigdha's grandparents even flew out from India to attend the Bee. Not only did Snigdha get to shine in front of her family, friends and peers, but she won quite the prize: aside from bragging rights, it includes $37,500 in cash, savings bonds, and scholarships, thousands of dollars in reference materials and books, and a reported trip to India, courtesy of her grandfather. Her victory also marked San Diego County’s second win in the last seven years.
Let’s hear it for Snigdha Nandipati who’s here with us today. Just don’t ask us how to spell her name.
Snigdha Nadipati, Scripps Spelling Bee champion
Pawan Dhingra, Professor at Oberlin College and museum curator at the Smithsonian Institution's Asian Pacific American Program