Congratulations to 8th-grader Neethi Bangalore for once again coming out on top at Hart's annual spelling bee competition.
This is the third year in a row Neethi has edged out Hart's other outstanding spellers to take the top title. She will advance to the Bay Area preliminary rounds in mid-February.
"I feel good, happy," Neethi said of her third win. "I was sort of expecting it because I won the last two years."
Students in all grades took part in preliminary written exams in their English and block classes to determine the top spellers at Hart. The top 27 students in all three grades advanced to the school competition on Friday, Jan. 23 in the Hart multipurpose room.
Competition was tough as the school's best spellers competed for the coveted top prize and the chance to advance to the Bay Area competition.
The tense competition came down to two stellar spellers -- Neethi and 8th-grader Sophie Wan. The two girls duked it out for eight full rounds before Neethi correctly spelled the winning word -- fibrillation.
Next up for Neethi is the regional preliminary round Feb. 21 at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley. If Neethi scores high enough on that written exam, she'll advance to the San Francisco Chronicle's Spelling Bee final competition at Pier 39 in San Francisco. The nation's best spellers will compete in May at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
In addition to the regional contest, there's an Alameda County spelling bee in March in which Neethi will take part. If she wins the county competition, she'll advance to the state level.
Last year, Neethi won the county bee and tied for 11th place at the state spelling bee. The previous year, Neethi also won the county bee and came in second at the state level.
Congratulations to Neethi and all of Hart's superb spellers!
Best of luck to Neethi at the next level of competitions!