High Drama of 5-Way Tie Marks Spelling Bee
When Chief Judge Dr. John Shilling of the Senior Spelling Bee announced a five-way tie for first place, the IACA auditorium became silent. A tie-breaker ensued, and as Ms. Melinda Kay (Cobb County high school language arts teacher and word pronouncer for the Georgia State Spelling Championship) called out each word, the anticipation grew thicker.
The 2003 Atlanta Regional Spelling Bee and Vocabulary Contest, organized by the North South Foundation (NSF) and sponsored by the IACA, was a tremendous success. The event was divided into four tournaments: Junior Spelling Bee (for children under the age of nine), Senior Spelling Bee (for children under thirteen), Junior Vocabulary Contest (for children under the age of thirteen); and Senior Vocabulary contest (for children under seventeen years of age). Sixty-one children participated in the contests.
Judging the contest and pronouncing the words were an accomplished group of educators, each of whom was thoroughly impressed with the knowledge displayed by the participants.
Ms. Melinda Kay and Ms. Carol MacIntyre (high school language arts teachers) called out the words, and Dr. John Shilling and Dr. Prateen Desai (former and current Georgia Tech professors) served as judges. Hemant Ramachandran and Sowmya Rengarajan volunteered as associate judges.
Trophies and certificates, sponsored by the IACA, were awarded to the winners and participants. American Megatrends CEO, Mr.Shankar Subramonian, sponsored the cash prizes of $50, $30, and $20 for first, second, and third place for all four contests - a total of $400.
Each participant's registration fee of $15 was donated to educate the poor in India. The contest raised approximately $1,000 for this cause, espoused by the North South Foundation ( ), the event's organizers. NSF is a non-profit organization started in 1989 with the mission to help the bright but needy students in India pursue their collegiate education. Since inception, NSF has provided 1,800 scholarships to students in over ten states throughout India. The parents of scholarship recipients have a yearly income under 20,000 rupees, or $400. Just $200 can fund one student for a year of college in India.
Contest officials were served a delicious lunch sponsored by Madras Saravana Bhavan, and students were treated to donuts sponsored by the IACA.
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