A short time after 10 PM Eastern on May 29th, 2009, an exultant and teary eyed Kavya hoisted the coveted Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy inside the Independence Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington DC. A dream of nearly 6 years was realized for Kavya. We had watched many other champions claim the Scripps championship in the past, the first time being in 2003 when Sai Gunturi claimed the championship. Since then, it was a goal for Kavya to win the national championship. She gradually worked towards her goal, with wins and losses along the way. She contested in several spelling bees along the way. No bee was considered small or big, and she continued learning from every experience, working towards her ultimate goal and never taking her eye off of it. With every contest, she became a better speller regardless of the outcome of the bee. More than anything, Kavya enjoyed ‘spelling’ and competing in spelling bees. Her passion becomes evident, and even today, if you walk in to her room, you will find pictures of many great spellers from the past posted on the walls!
We live in a town called ‘Olathe’ (pronounced ‘oh-lay-thuh’), a suburb of Kansas City. Olathe means ‘beautiful’ in Native American. We have been living here since 2002, and the kids love the neighborhood and the school district. Our spelling journey began in 2003 and has continued since then, with Vanya also showing interest in pursuing spelling, her elder sister having setting a good precedence.
The response we received from a number of people and organizations who watched Kavya win the championship was overwhelming to the say the least. Many of them conveyed that it brought tears in their eyes when Kavya won the championship. Through her humility and graciousness, Kavya had not only won the hearts of numerous people, but had also transformed her own dream to be the dream of a larger group of fans and friends. After the victory, many of them insisted that we should start a blog. I have had a traveling job for a while which made it very difficult for me to venture on it. Finally, I decided to make time and start this web log with a primary objective of sharing our spelling experience so that other spellers can relate to or be able to learn a thing or two to help them in their own spelling journey.