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Merced Middle School Student to Compete in Prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee
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By The Merced Focus
Published 4 days ago on
May 13, 2024

Merced student Rishabh Saha gears up for the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., showcasing his word wizardry on a national stage. (Merced County Office of Education)

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One of California’s top word wizards is about compete on the national stage.

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Victor A. Patton

The Merced FOCUS

Rishabh Saha, an eighth grader at Merced’s Cruickshank Middle School, has earned a spot to compete at the 96th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C., according to a news release from Merced City School District.

Saha will be among 245 students from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and several countries who will compete in the two-night event, scheduled for May 29 and 30. The grand champion takes home a prize of $50,000.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is no ordinary competition. For spelling strategists globally, it’s akin to the Wrestlemania of words, made famous globally in pop culture by Hollywood films like “Akeelah and The Bee.”

Saha has already made a name for himself as a winning wordsmith locally. At last year’s Merced County Spelling Bees, in the junior high competition Saha scored first place, spelling “ventriloquist” correctly.

He was also a runner up at the 2022 California State Spelling Bee.

Saha regularly sharpens his spelling skills by reviewing the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s “word of the day” and by creating flashcards he reviews regularly, according to the Merced City Schools news release.

He also uses SpellPundit to learn the spellings and definitions of new words.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be broadcast on the ION television network. The national spelling bee was founded in 1925 when nine newspapers joined together to host the event.

About the Author

Victor Patton is editor-in-chief of The Merced FOCUS, a nonprofit newsroom covering the San Joaquin Valley.

 

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