Spelling Dynasties

Posted on Posted in 2011

Participation of siblings in the Scripps National Spelling Bee is not uncommon. Every year, after the registrations are completed, National Spelling Bee publishes the statistics on siblings and relatives of previous participants. Being exposed to the bee only in the past decade, I can name quite a few siblings who have participated at the national event — the Goldsteins,  Buddigas, Gunturis, McFalls, Radakrishnans,  Vavilalas, Blacklocks, Medinas, Mishras, Newcombes and more.

As you may have read in our previous blog(s), Josephine and I participated at the 2009 event for the fourth time, but we were not the only ones. Keiko Bridwell and Vaibhav Vavilala were also 4-year repeaters that year. They were both strong contenders and it was a pleasure to see them year after year at the bee.  A few weeks ago we heard from the Bridwell family that Keiko’s brother, Zane, will be competing at Scripps this year. They are very excited to head back to DC and we hope they have a wonderful time! CONGRATULATIONS Zane! We wish you the best of luck at the Bee! You can read more about Zane’s electrifying win at  http://www.goupstate.com/article/20110306/articles/103061028

Another sibling who will be participating at this years event is Gabriel Blacklock. This will be Gabriel’s second time participating at the Nationals, but he has gained a lot of experience through his siblings. Gabriel’s four siblings have all competed in Scripps National Spelling Bees in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008. His sister, Evelyn, placed second to Sai Gunturi in the 2003 Scripps National Spelling Bee.


CONGRATULATIONS Gabriel and Good Luck this year!!

Rachel McFall is yet another sibling who was won her way to the National Bee this year. The McFall family is by no means new to spelling bees – they have been to DC six times. This will be Rachel’s second year competing, but she has watched two of her sisters and one brother compete in previous Scripps National Spelling Bees. CONGRATULATIONS Rachel!! http://www.tribtoday.com/page/content.detail/id/554452/Speller-repeats-winning-effort.html

Vincent Medina was another strong contender at the 2009 national spelling bee.  The Medina family will be making yet another trip to the national event with the younger Glenn Medina winning the regional competition.  Congratulations are due to Glenn, Vincent, Joseline, and Felix.


We wish each and every participant of the 2011 National Spelling Bee the very best!!


3 thoughts on “Spelling Dynasties

    1. Thank you, Morgan. i hope you continue to do well in high school and beyond. My son Vincent competed in 2008 and 2009 and we missed his batch during NSB 2010, but we wish them all the best in life.

  1. Thank you, Kavya, for citing us in your article on Spelling Dynasties. It’s amazing how National Spelling Bee (NSB)alumni and their families seem to keep track of one another through the years like one big family, bonded by a common interest and experience which only NSB families can relate to. I can never forget our first year at the NSB, full of excitement, anxiety, and anticipation, and experiencing all the drama, the suspense, and the thrill of being part of NSB live! Every year thereafter, it has been a growing process. With champions from all over the country and from far-away countries, it’s like getting a peak of the world through the power of the word. This year, we’re going for the 4th time, and although it’s at a different venue, Washington, D.C. will surely bring us back memories of our one big spelling family (with the kids freely roaming around) at the “big home” Hyatt. I’m thankful that you created this site where our spelling families can stay connected. To you, to Vanya, and your parents, best wishes for a wondeful future. It’s a pleasure hearing from you.

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