New Student Finishes Second at National Spelling Bee

Jul 20, 2021

National Spelling Bee 2nd Place Finisher Chaitra Thummala

Congratulations to incoming Lawler Middle School seventh grader Chaitra Thummala, who finished second at the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Thummala moved to Frisco earlier this summer from the San Francisco Bay Area. While she is new to the city and FISD, she is not new to spelling competitions. 

“I found a passion for spelling when I won my first spelling bee in kindergarten,” Thummala said. “I correctly spelled the word alfalfa!”

Thummala is already settling into her new home and is happy to be reconnecting with friends who also moved here. While some things are different in Texas, her passion for her studies has not been deterred by the move.

“I am already studying for my next spelling bee,” Thummala said. “I review lots of word lists and books put out by previous finalists in the National Bee.”

Thummala, who mostly studies with her mom, finds the words that don’t follow the general language rules to be the most interesting and explains that it’s those that she focuses on memorizing.

She first competed in the Scripps Spelling Bee in the fourth grade and wasn’t nervous when it came to going to the National Bee.

“It’s thrilling to compete,” she said. “However, I would regularly pause to remind myself that I was proud of getting that far in the competition, no matter what place I got.”

While her hopes were dashed this year with the misspelling of “Neroli oil,” an essential oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree, there is no doubt that Thummala is not done yet.

“I just keep studying almost every day,” Thummala said. “I would encourage anyone interested in delving deep into spelling to work hard because it’s only a matter of time until you reach your goal.”

Thummala enjoys playing tennis in her free time and wants to go into the medical field upon high school graduation.

Congratulations to Thummala on her second-place finish. Lawler Middle School and FISD look forward to welcoming her to campus and cheering her on in upcoming competitions!

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