Congrats Zaila!!!

Congrats to everyone who participated today in the Finals of the national Hexco-Kaplan Bee, and to all my students who participated in the competition. Special congratulations to my student Zaila Avant-garde of Harvey, Louisiana for being crowned the champion.

With this win, Zaila wins $10,000, free access to Kaplan’s pre-college programs (such as ACT, SAT, or PSAT prep), and an enormous 26-inch trophy, provided by the fantastic bee organizers over at Hexco and Kaplan. I am elated for Zaila — this success is a testament to her incredible hard work and perseverance over the last several months that I have been working with her.

This competition contained

  • 88 of some of the nations best spellers, including 10 who were students or alumni of my coaching program
  • A Grand Finals stage containing the Top 21 spellers in the Bee, of which 6 were students/alumni of the program. 4 of my students placed in the Top 5 or better.

I’d like to congratulate

  • Michael Kolagani and Vayun Krishna, who placed 13th
  • Dean Alkhairy and Nitya Kathiravan, who placed 5th
  • One more current student who will remain anonymous for now, who placed somewhere within the Top 3
  • And Zaila Avant-garde, who won 1st place

These spellers have set a very elite standard, and credit goes to them for their outstanding hard work and diligence.

Now, the focus shifts to the next competition. It’s time to correct any issues, stave off complacency, and start improving for the next one!

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Zaila spelling Maryknoller (a priest of a Catholic congregation of New York) correctly in Round 21.

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Zaila being declared the champion after spelling Qashqai (referring to a Turkic-speaking people) correctly in Round 30.

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