Hoover Middle School Student Advances to Scripps National Spelling Bee Semifinals

A student at Herbert Hoover Middle School in Potomac has advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Eighth grader Ananya Gautam, 14, participated in the virtual quarterfinals Tuesday as speller 32. She spelled the word “euphuism” correctly and answered the word meaning of “cartography” correctly, according to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She finished the competition by spelling “talus” correctly, earning her a spot in the semifinals.

Gautam has competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee before, coming in 51st place in 2019. 

Gautam’s favorite subject in school is math, and she coaches students in improving their verbal scores on the SAT and ACT, according to the spelling bee’s website.

“I just hope to go as far as I can, and I want to do my best,” she told Bethesda Magazine before the quarterfinals. “Spelling has a little bit of a luck factor, so it’s not always easy to predict the results, but as long as I know I tried my hardest, I’ll be happy with my performance.”

Gautam will compete in the semifinals on June 27 virtually. The finals will be held on July 8 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

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