13 year-old Arushi Cumer from Fulton County is Georgia’s newest spelling champion

MARCH 15, 2019 

ATLANTA –– They came from all corners of state; from Chatham and Lowndes Counties and Valdosta City to Bremen City and Paulding and Cherokee 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 250 words over 17 rounds, 13-year-old Arushi Cumer from River Trail Middle in Fulton County emerged as the winner of the 58th Annual Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee.  She will now represent Georgia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championships in National Harbor, Maryland, May 28-30, 2019.

In the 16th round runner-up Clara Padgett, from CRSA Home School Association in Columbia County, received the word "Alcade" but unfortunately misspelled it.  Arushi then received her first word "Hededo," spelled it correctly, and then according the state rules, had to spell a second consecutive word correctly.  That word was "Andouille."  After a slight hesitation, she carefully spelled letter by letter until she heard the words from the judge "that is correct,” to become the state's 2019 spelling champion.

Arushi said she was so happy to be champion and would start right away studying "language patterns" for the national championships.

GAE President Charlotte Booker said, "Congratulations to Arushi and all of these great young participants.  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 Arushi and her family as they travel to Maryland and the national championship.”

In addition to her first place trophy and an all-expense paid trip to the national championship and $1,000 (GAE), Arushi also received an iPad Pro and a $50 VISA gift card (Horace Mann Insurance Companies), a Kindle (Best Buy of Cumming, GA), a one-year online subscription (Encyclopedia Britannica Premium), one $100 U.S. Savings Bond (Samuel L. Sugarman Award) and a GAE Bee Champion lapel pin.  Clara, as runner-up, took home a second place trophy and $500 (GAE), and received an iPad Pro along with a $25 VISA gift card (Horace Mann Insurance Companies) and the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary-11th Edition (Merriam-Webster).  In addition, all contestants received a GAE State Bee lapel pin and participation certificate.

View contest pics at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gaecomm/albums/72157705992390271