CUMMING — Subjunctive. S-U-B-J-U-N-C-T-I-V-E. Subjunctive.
After 28 rounds and about three hours, the 2015 Forsyth County Spelling Bee champion was crowned Saturday.
Vickery Creek Middle School eighth-grader Varun Kumar took home the honor of last speller standing in the annual systemwide competition held at South Forsyth High School.
To do so, he beat out 28 other students, each a winner of his or her elementary or middle school bee.
“From what I understand, that was the [school system’s] longest [bee] ever,” said Hannah Orr, communications and partnerships facilitator for the district. “They were spelling words that were quite impressive.”
The local contest was a step in the road to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Students in fourth through eighth grades were included.
Spellers were judged by Sally Campbell, president of the local chapter of the Georgia Association of Educators, which also sponsored the event, Forsyth County Retired Educators Association’s Linda Lang and Brandywine Printing’s Derek Brooks.
The bee’s emcee was James McCoy, president and CEO of the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.
Orr said “at least 10 or so” contestants made it through the first seven rounds. The alternate, Sharon Elementary’s Varoon Kodithala, a fifth-grader, was cut in round 16.
“It was down to the last two at [round] 25,” Orr said.
In past years, she said, the final four spellers made it to the sixth or seventh rounds, with a winner being named after about two hours.
Kumar will represent Forsyth County in the District 2 Spelling Bee at Mabry Middle School in Marietta on Feb. 28. He will be joined by runners-up Monish Jampala, a fourth-grader at Daves Creek Elementary, and Tharini Ramakrishnan Kavitha, a sixth-grader at South Forsyth Middle.
Larger school systems can send more contestants to the district bee, so all three students will spell at the next level. Alternate Kodithala will compete if one of the others cannot.