Weddington student repeats spelling bee win

Jan. 19, 2013 @ 04:41 PM

“Plutocratic” is an adjective of Greek origin that means to be characterized by the rule of wealth. By spelling it correctly, Weddington Middle School seventh grader Ashwin Subramaniam won the title of UCPS spelling bee champion for the second year running.

“It’s all about hard work and determination,” Ashwin said, following the competition. “You have to have poise. You don’t want to have stress. If you’re stressed out, that makes you nervous and you can mess up. So you just want to stay cool, calm and confident in your ability.”

 His parents, Hari and Sumathi Subramaniam, were all smiles when their son won the title. His mother is Ashwin’s spelling coach.

“There is no substitute for hard work,” she said. “The only thing that matters is the effort. It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up. That’s very important in life. A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

Ashwin’s principal, Steve Wray, was also on hand to support him. “This is a lot of hard work. His winning is well deserved. He’s an excellent student and a fine young man. I’m very proud of him.”

The runner-up for the second year running was Dominick DePaola III, a fifth grader from New Town Elementary and the son of Dominick and Cindy DePaola. Dominick will represent the school system in the event Ashwin cannot attend the regional competition next month.

Dominick made it through 20 rounds of the competition, but lost the battle on the word “neoprene,” a noun of Greek origin meaning synthetic rubber. “I just think it’s been tough studying, but it’s paying off,” Dominick said of being the runner-up.

“He’s amazing,” said Dominick’s mom, Cindy DePaola. “I’m very proud of him.”

 At the close of competition, Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis, congratulated all the students who competed. “I would like to recognize every young person that was in this spelling bee today,” she said. “To say that I have the utmost respect and admiration for you, is an understatement. Each of you are truly winners; not only because of your spelling, but because of the people who love you – your parents, your grandparents and your extended family who practiced with you.”

 Ashwin will now represent UCPS at the 59th annual Charlotte Observer Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 11, 2013, at ImaginOn in Charlotte.

 

• This article was written by Deb Coates Bledsoe, Union County Public Schools Communications Coordinator and provided courtesy of the UCPS Communications Office.