13-year-old Sai Lakkimsetti is Georgia's 2023 spelling bee champion
ATLANTA –– They came from all corners of state; Chatham, Tatnall, Irwin, Walker, Forsyth, Columbia, and Muscogee Counties and points in between -- 20 spellers ranging from 10 to14 - years-old, all with the same goal in mind – becoming Georgia’s next spelling champion.
After over 100 words over 20 rounds, 13-year-old Sai Lakkimsetti from Stallings Island Middle School in Columbia County emerged as the winner of the 62nd Annual Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) State Spelling Bee. He, along with runner-up, 13-year-old Matthew Baber from Rising Star Middle School in Fayette County, will now represent Georgia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championships in National Harbor, Maryland, May 28-June 2, 2023.
In the 20th round Matthew received the word "palmyra" but unfortunately mispelled it. Sai then was given the word "spumoni" which he spelled correctly and under the rules for the final two spellers, had to then spell an additional word correctly. That word was "nyctalopia," which he slowly took his time to spell correctly and was crowned the 62nd and 2023 Georgia State Spelling Bee champion.
Sai, said he's really excited and grateful for all of his support and to be in this posiiton. And when asked about the competition, he said, "I'll really need to ramp up my preparation."
Matthew, for his part, said he will have to study very hard to succeed at nationals, but "it's probably going to be fun and it will just be great to be there."
GAE President Lisa Morgan said, "Congratulations to both Sai and Matthew and all of these great young spellers. It is a joy to see how far they’ve come and the self-confidence they've exhibited in handling the pressure and competition. And we of course wish the best of luck to both their families as they travel to Maryland and the national championship.”
Sai, in addition to a first place trophy and an all expense paid trip to the national championship and $1,000 (GAE), took home an iPad Mini (Horace Mann Insurance Companies), a Kindle (Best Buy of Cumming, GA), an online subscription dictionary (Merriam-Webster), a one-year online subscription (Encyclopaedia Britannica), one $100 U.S. Savings Bond (Samuel L. Sugarman Award) and a GAE Bee Champion lapel pin.
Matthew took home a second place trophy and $1,000 (GAE), and received an all expense paid trip to the national championship and $1,000 (GAE), an iPad Mini (Horace Mann Insurance Companies), an online subscription dictionary (Merriam-Webster), a one-year online subscription (Encyclopaedia Britannica), and one $100 U.S. Savings Bond (Samuel L. Sugarman Award).
In addition, all contestants received a GAE State Bee lapel pin.
GAE President Lisa Morgan
presents trophy to Sai Lakkimsetti
GAE President Lisa Morgan
presents trophy to Matthew Baber
Runner-up Matthew Baber from Rising Star Middle School in Fayette County,
GAE State Spelling Bee Committee Chair Susan Tallant, and Georgia Bee Champion Sai Lakkimsetti.
Bee Study Resources
The GAE Spelling Bee Committee does not furnish any practice list of words to use for your speller. The ultimate recommended guide is using Webster’s 3rd New Unabridged Online International Dictionary as a study reference (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/). Your school can access any Scripps study material once it has enrolled and has the receipt of the enrollment fee. Those materials may be downloaded and printed for the school winner for ongoing study.
For additional popular study sites search for Bee study resources.
GAE Bee Information
2022-23 GAE Procedures, Rules and Regulations (PRR) for the Georgia Bee
2022-23 Deadlines and Dates
Scripps Website (Registration)
Order Bee Products
Frequently Asked Questions
Region Qualifier Forms
Region Bee Sites
GISA Member Schools
Local Bee Planning Guide
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