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Vermillion, Dakota Valley students advance to state Spelling Bee

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Owen Dudley, a middle school student from Vermillion, correctly spelled the championship word “frabjous” to take first place in the Southeast South Dakota Regional Spelling Bee at the University of South Dakota on Saturday, Feb. 7. Hari Kadarkaraisamy, an elementary student from Vermillion, and Nana Addo of Dakota Valley Middle School in McCook Lake, S.D., also advanced to the 2015 USD Scripps Spelling Bee after taking second and third place, respectively, in the Oral Spelling Bee at Aalfs Auditorium on the USD campus.

The state competition is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 21 at Farber Hall inside of Old Main. They will compete against the top three places from regional competitions at Rapid City, Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Mobridge. The event will be streamed live on

Thirty-two contestants representing 10 South Dakota elementary and middle schools competed at the 2015 Southeast South Dakota Regional Spelling Bee. In addition to the oral bee, students completed written and vocabulary exams prior to the oral competition. Addo was the highest scorer while Kadarkaraisamy finished second and Simon Carlson of Yankton Middle School was third. In the regional contest, the written scores did not count toward the championship as they do in the national contest.

The winner of the USD Scripps Spelling Bee next month will participate in the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee this May in Washington D.C. The competition is open for students in first grade through the eighth grade. Download a photo of Dudley, Kadarkaraisamy and Addo.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News