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Addo Wins USD Scripps Spelling Bee

Nana Addo Nana Addo of Dakota Dunes was named the 2017 Scripps Spelling Bee winner for South Dakota.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The state’s top spellers met at the University of South Dakota for the Scripps Spelling Bee state final this Saturday, March 18, crowning Nana Addo of Dakota Dunes with the top prize.

After advancing through school and regional competitions, 15 spellers competed for a chance to attend the Scripps National Spelling Bee hosted in Washington, D.C. May 28-June 2.

The second place finisher was Ryan Presler of Sioux Falls. Harshavardhan Kadarkaraisamy of Vermillion won third place.

The Scripps Spelling Bee has been sponsored by USD since 2012. A complete list of competitors is below.

Aubrey Rutledge of Mitchell
Josie McCord of Mitchell
Maddie Knox of Mitchell
Caleb Weishaar of Rapid City
Sam Gibbon of Rapid City
Sierra Oesterling of Rapid City
Lacey Howe of Sioux Falls
Lauren Vander Esch of Sioux Falls.
Ryan Presler of Sioux Falls
Harshavardhan Kadarkaraisamy of Vermillion
Nana Addo of Dakota Dunes
Varunsundhar Kadarkaraisamy of Vermillion
Alexandra Radke-Kiesz of Watertown
Jamie Robbins of Watertown
Nathan Cole-Dai of Watertown


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 84 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.