Yenumula repeats as Cumberland’s best speller

Yenumula repeats as Cumberland’s best speller

The Cumberland District Spelling Bee was held at the High School auditorium on Tuesday afternoon. Students from Ashton, B.F. Norton, Community, Cumberland Hill and Garvin Elementary Schools joined middle school students from McCourt and North Cumberland to compete for the honor of representing Cumberland at the State Spelling Bee. From left are Nolan Rogalski, Dante Seguinot, Sahasra Yenumula, Niko Estrada, Linnea Casale, Cynthia Alcantar Gervacio, Meher Shafique, Michael Dunn, Landon Fitzsimmons, Anthony Jolly, Ava Iacomini, Cooper Sprague, Ryan Hammoud, Conner Beaudreault, Ronald Marshall and Manvi Mishra. (Breeze photos by Robert Emerson)

CUMBERLAND – Defending Cumberland District Spelling Bee Champion Sahasra Yenumula again cinched the top spot in the local competition on Tuesday night in the Cumberland High School auditorium.

For the second straight year, the North Cumberland Middle School 6th-grader beat runner-up Nolan Rogalski, an NCMS 8th-grader who won the competition in 2016 and 2017.

Yenumula will now represent Cumberland in the Rhode Island State Spelling Bee on March 14.

Yenumula and Rogalski went head-to-head for 22 of the contest’s 28 rounds.

Round one began with 16 spellers in grades 4-8 from the district’s schools. Two students were eliminated in the first round and another four in the second round. All of the participants spelled their way through round three, but the following two rounds saw four more bow out.

“And then there were five,” said moderator Cindy Coughlin, NCMS principal.

Yenumula and Rogalski were left with Ashton Elementary School 4th-grader Manvi Mishra, Cumberland Hill 5th-grader Landon Fitzsimmons, and NCMS 7th-grader Dante Seguinot.

Mishra stumbled on the word prejudice, Fitzsimmons misspelled Goliath, and Seguinot slipped up on pilferer.

For the next 22 rounds, 2019 district champion Yenumula and 2016 and 2017 district champion Rogalski battled it out for this year’s title.

Yenumula aced the spelling of words including sapphire, gladiatorial, attributive, fratority, brigadoon, dubiously and dishevel, matched closely by Rogalski, who correctly spelled words such as hermitage, gossamer, cognizant, foosball, disproportionate, Jeepney and circuitous.

In the 28th round, Yenumula correctly spelled syndicate before Rogalski misspelled rialto as realto.

Yenumula secured her place in first with the championship word tyrannical.

Roglaski will serve as her backup for the statewide bee.

Yenumula told The Breeze that she was surprised to win because she hadn’t practiced as much as she would have liked to.

With Coughlin as moderator, NCMS 8th-grade social studies teacher Brendan Collins served as pronouncer. Judges were Debra Malcolm, Cheryl Vaughn, Sandy Lariviere, Nidia Karbonik, Kristy Patten and Lorre Lang.

Delivering opening remarks, Supt. Bob Mitchell said he was proud of the students for making it this far in the competition and standing with confidence and courage.

Cumberland Middle School 6th-grader Sahasra Yenumula successfully spells the championship word “tyrannical” to win the Cumberland District-Wide Spelling Bee on Tuesday at the high school auditorium. She will now compete in the State Spelling Bee.
Cumberland Spelling Bee participants, from left, Landon Fitzsimmons, Anthony Jolly, both from Cumberland Hill Elementary, and Community Elementary students Ava Iacomini and Cooper Sprague wait for their turn to compete in the Cumberland District Spelling Bee on Tuesday.
Second-place finisher Nolan Rogalski congratulates Spelling Bee winner Sahasra Yenumula at the end of Tuesday’s District Spelling Bee.
Nolan Rogalski, right, an 8th-grader at North Cumberland Middle School, traces the word “extinguish” on his hand during a late round of Tuesday’s Cumberland District Spelling Bee. Eventual winner, Sahasra Yenumula, also from North Cumberland, awaits her turn.