It took 19 rounds and 144 words to do it, but Mountain Avenue Elementary student Zerxes Bhadha emerged as the Glendale Unified spelling champion Monday after besting his counterparts from the district’s 19 other elementary schools.
“He reads a lot so he is he is a natural speller,” his mother, Bucky Bhadha said as she congratulated him after the event.
The win was the result of a lot of practice and some steely nerves, the 12-year-old Zerxes said.
“I tried to do that so I didn’t feel nervous,” he said of his stoic demeanor throughout the competition.
Each of the 20 participants had already been crowned top speller at their respective elementary schools. The order of the spellers is determined by random lottery. According to spelling bee rules, contestants can ask the moderator to re-pronounce the word, provide a definition and use it in a sentence. The etymology, or origin, of a word can also be requested if the language of origin is of significance.