By Pat Kumpan
After winning the San Diego County Scripps National Spelling Bee on Tuesday, Snigdha Nandipati, a seventh-grade student from Rancho Penasquitos, felt like a celebrity, she said.
When she returned to Francis Parker School on Wednesday, students came into the halls to cheer for the spelling champ.
“They chanted ‘spelling bee, spelling bee,’ ” Nandipati said. “It felt nice to be famous.”
For her efforts, Nandipati wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in early June to compete in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
She beat out 94 other seventh- and eighth-graders to win Tuesday’s competition, which took just over 4 ½ hours to complete.
The champ finished off her victory by spelling the word “wastrel” which means “spendthrift,” she said.
“I remembered studying it the night before,” Nandipati said.
The definition of a word is not always helpful, but language of origin usually is because she knows many Greek and Latin root words, she said.
During the competition earlier this week, she traced the winning word with her finger across her palm.
“As a visual learner, I need to see the word,” she said.
During the months leading up to the spelling bee, she and her father made 20,000 flash cards to study words.
The 12-year-old, the daughter of Krishnarao and Madhavi Nandipati, won Francis Parker’s contest in February, making her eligible to compete in Tuesday’s event. This is the first year her school has participated in the competition.
Twin Peaks Middle School student Allison Walker made it to the sixth round of competition.
In 2005 the national competition was won by Meadowbrook Middle School student Anurag Kashyap.