Thirty-three Frederick County students competed to be the top speller on March 15th at the 2014 Frederick County Spelling Bee. When the Bee ended in the 26th round, Stephen Hochschild walked away the winner of the county’s seventh annual bee. Hochschild is an eighth grader at Mother Seton School and was also the winner of the 2012 Frederick County Spelling Bee. Pratulya Santharam, an eighth grader at Urbana Middle School, took second place.
Only Santharam and Hochschild remained in the last twelve rounds of the competition. Santharam exited the Bee with the word ‘acerbic’. Hochschild’s winning word was ‘incongruity’. Hochschild will now move on to represent Frederick County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. Hochschild will join other students from across the United States in competing in this prestigious national event. The event is not all work; area tours are available and participants are treated to a Memorial Day Barbecue, an awards banquet, and a farewell party–all within the comfort of the Gaylord National Hotel and Resort Center in National Harbor, MD.
Hochschild’s Spelling Bee prize includes hotel accommodations and $1,000 for transportation and spending money. Santharam won a $750 cash prize. Also included in the event prizes are a Webster’s Third New International Dictionary awarded to Hochschild and a Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition for the runner-up, Santharam. Both of these prizes were awarded by Merriam-Webster. Vineet Ravichandran, a 5th grader at Walkersville Elementary, won a $100 gift card for finishing third. Door prize drawings were held for spellers and the schools’ alternates. Door prizes included two Google Nexus 7" tablets and gift cards to Dancing Bear Toys & Gifts, iTunes, and Target.