SJ girl makes spelling bee semifinals

May 27, 2009 11:45:54 PM PDT
San Jose resident Ramya Auroprem was one of 41 children and young teens from the United States and Canada to rank as a semifinalist today in the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee taking place this week in Washington, D.C., according to official results.

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Ramya, 13, attends Joaquin Miller Middle School in San Jose. She is fluent in Tamil and is currently studying French. Aside from spelling, Ramya enjoys reading novels, listening to music and bicycling.

In second round of the contest today, Ramya correctly spelled "humorous" and in round three she correctly spelled "phonasthenia," qualifying her as a semifinalist, according to official results.

She will now go on to the next round, which begins Thursday morning. In general, one misspelled word will disqualify a speller.

Championship finalists will compete in the final round Thursday evening.

Spelling bee contestants range in age from 9 to 15 years old, but the majority of contestants are ages 13 and 14. This year, 293 spellers competed in the first three rounds, the largest number in the history of the event.

In 2007, home-schooled Danville resident Evan O'Dorney, who was 13 at the time, won the national spelling bee with the word "serrefine."

The finals of the spelling bee will air on ABC7 Thursday night at 8 p.m. PT.

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