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 Francis Parker School 7th Grader Wins 2011 San Diego Union-Tribune Spelling Bee

​Twelve-year old Snigdha Nandipati, a 7th grader at Francis Parker School, has won the 2011 San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee. The Spelling Bee was held March 22 at the Old Town Theatre in San Diego.

Snigdha and her family came to the United States from India in 2005. According to her father, she studied more than 30,000 words for the competition.

She correctly spelled the winning word, “wastrel,” meaning something rejected or discarded as useless or imperfect. Nandipati will now represent San Diego County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, held annually in Washington, D.C. June 1-2, 2011.

“I can’t believe I won,” said Nandipati. “I’m very excited because this was the first year my school participated.” Nandipati won the Long Beach Spelling Bee in 2009.

The 42nd annual competition began with 95 7th and 8th grade students from public and private schools throughout San Diego County. During the final round, two contestants remained: Nandipati and Rochelle Marifosque from San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, the runner-up in last year’s Bee.

During the championship round each contestant needed to spell two words correctly. Marifosque spelled “hapology” incorrectly, and Nandipati then spelled “bibliognost” and “wastrel” correctly to win championship.

Nandipati hopes to attend Harvard University and study to become a surgeon or psychologist.

The Countywide Spelling Bee is coordinated by the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego County Office of Education. For more information on the Bee go to or