DeKalb whiz kid/speller in national finals. Watch Simola today.

UPDATE from AJC.com:

Simola Nayak knew how to spell “cisele,” but stumbled on the word for an Irish irregular soldier or bandit. The 13-year-old DeKalb County girl fell out of the semifinal Scripps National Spelling Bee Championships today when she misspelled “rapparee,” in use since 1690, according to Merriam-Webster.com.  She “did DeKalb proud,” school system officials said on their official Twitter feed.

Simola, who just finished eighth grade at Henderson Middle School, was carrying the weight of the state on her shoulders. Officials, including U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and U.S. Rep Jack Kingston wished her well on their own Twitter feeds. In March, she correctly spelled “tautologous” to win the 51st annual Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee. That victory earned her an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. this week to compete in the national event.

Here is the note this morning from DeKalb Schools about its champion speller Simola Nayak, who sounds like a heck of a student and human being:

DeKalb Schools student and Georgia State Spelling Bee Champion Simola Nayak will compete today in the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The event will be covered throughout the day on ESPN beginning at 10 a.m.

Click here to watch or to see a schedule of ESPN broadcasts. Regular updates will also be provided on the DeKalb Schools Twitter feed at Twitter.com/DeKalbSchools

Updates are also available by following the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Facebook www.facebook.com/scrippsnationalspellingbee or on Twitter at Twitter.com/ScrippsBee.

Simola recently completed the eighth grade at Henderson Middle School. She won the DeKalb County School District Spelling Bee in February and the Georgia State Spelling Bee in March. She prepared for her competitions by studying words and vocabulary from previous spelling bees and reading books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. She also enlisted help from her family, who quizzed her daily on different words.

Simola won a $1,000 as State Spelling Bee champ, money she donated to a student at her school.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

21 comments Add your comment

alm

May 31st, 2012
10:29 am

Well done and good luck to her!

Dunwoody Mom

May 31st, 2012
10:45 am

Good luck Simola!! We’re all rooting for you.

catlady

May 31st, 2012
10:50 am

Can she be cloned? Congratulations!

Ashley

May 31st, 2012
10:54 am

I love the part where this champ donated her state winnings to another student at her school. I predict many great things and accomplishments for this young lady. Good luck in the semi-finals ……you are already a winner in so many ways.

Frankie

May 31st, 2012
10:58 am

We will be rooting for you Simola……

Dunwoody Mom

May 31st, 2012
11:06 am

Maureen, OT, please tell the AJC to get rid of this MEEBO crap – it plays havoc with all of pc’s.

Old timer

May 31st, 2012
11:08 am

Good news for Dekalb…

Maureen Downey

May 31st, 2012
11:12 am

@dunwoody, I will pass that on.
Maureen

alm

May 31st, 2012
11:55 am

I second the MEEBO crap.

B. Killebrew

May 31st, 2012
12:12 pm

Yes, No MEEBO! Makes me not want to come the AJC and this blog…

a reader

May 31st, 2012
12:47 pm

Once again I wonder about how some folks can game the system in Dekalb county schools … I’ve seen two articles identifying her as from Tucker, and yet she went to Henderson Middle. So interesting how it works that when folks won’t go to their neighborhood schools and then complain about the neighborhood schools.

I’m actually thrilled for her, but suspect it’s her and her family that makes a difference without any credit going to DCSS.

oldtimer

May 31st, 2012
12:55 pm

Henderson high, when it was built was a Tucker address.My brothers could have gone to Tucker or Henderson as we lived on the line. I guess now that it is a middle school , it is still in Tucker.
from a former Tucker resident

Dekalbite

May 31st, 2012
1:17 pm

Simola, congratulations! That’s awesome.

DeKalbMama

May 31st, 2012
1:20 pm

Henderson Middle school is a Tucker school in Tucker/Embry Hills. While many of us in this area have Chamblee or Doraville zip codes we are not technically in either of those towns and based on the proximity to Tucker identify as being from Tucker. So, while there is a Tucker High School and also a Tucker Middle School students from Tucker also attend Henderson Middle and Lakeside High depending on where they live.

Ernest

May 31st, 2012
2:16 pm

Best wishes Simola! We’ll be rooting for you.

Anonmom

May 31st, 2012
5:09 pm

In 7th grade, she’s shown as living “in district” in 30345 in apartments. She appears to be an awesome student from a very supportive, humble, family who cares. She donated the $1,000 on her own to a boy who had lost his vision (that’s the story). From the little bit I know, her family probably could have also used the money….

Former DCSS Teacher

May 31st, 2012
6:01 pm

I also hear from one who knows that she is “in district”. I also heard that she and her family could have used the money but she wanted to donate it. Sound like an all-around great kid to me!

Former DCSS Teacher

May 31st, 2012
6:03 pm

*sounds like and all-around great kid (sorry, hurried typing)

say what?

May 31st, 2012
8:29 pm

wonderful champion spirit, Simola! I remember my 1979 excursion to the district’s spelling bee championship, what a thrilling opportunity.

Way to go and keep up the good work mom dad and family.

I am still watching the semi-finalist. Down to seven at this time.

Ditto the Meebo or whatever it is comments. Down with Meebo.

B. Killebrew

June 1st, 2012
12:14 am

Yes, what DeKalbMama said. This is Metro Atlanta–school districts do not follow neat little zip code boundaries. There are students with Tucker addresses that attend Parkview High and Meadowcreek High (because the Tucker zip code crosses into Gwinnett County)!

Anonmom

June 1st, 2012
9:12 am

My youngest reports that one of his closest friends was peeved that this girl beat him in the HMS spelling bee championships to move on to the county competition when he was the 7th grade victor and she was the 6th grade victor. Sounds like she’s a great speller!