Eight Wisconsin students to compete in national Spelling Bee

May 6, 2019

Five more Wisconsin students will be traveling to the Scripps National Spelling Bee to compete along with the three winners from the Badger State Spelling Bee.

Maya Jadhav, a fifth-grader at Fitchburg’s Eagle School, took first place at the Badger State Bee, sponsored by the Wisconsin State Journal, in March. Immanuel Goveas, a sixth-grader at Menomonee Falls North Middle School, placed second, and Aryan Kalluvila, an eighth-grader at Richfield Middle School, came in third, securing their places at the national spelling bee.

Five others earned places in the national competition by qualifying through the Scripps RSVBee program, which is an alternative to placing at the state level. They are: Frankie Bautista, from Edgewood Campus School; Kieran McKinney, who is home-schooled; Spencer Phillips, from Indian Mount Middle School; Julianne Washa, from Highland Community Elementary School; and Aiden Wijeyakulasuriya, from Blessed Sacrament School.

The eight Wisconsin elementary and middle school students will travel to National Harbor, Maryland, May 26 through 31.

To be eligible to apply for RSVBee, spellers must win their school bee or be a previous national contestant, said spokeswoman Valerie Miller.

“RSVBee levels the playing field for national finals qualification and provides opportunities for more students to experience Bee Week,” Miller said.

Since some regions are very competitive, Miller said, RSVBee also helps students in those areas advance when they may otherwise not have.

This will be Jadhav’s, Goveas’ and Bautista’s second year in a row competing at the national level.

This is the second year for the RSVBee program, Miller said.