Park Tudor eighth grader Vanessa Xiao competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. from May 29-31. She represented Park Tudor and Marion County, as she was the winner of the Marion County Spelling Bee and one of three spellers from Central Indiana.
Vanessa correctly spelled all of her words on stage at the National Spelling Bee, including habergeon and weasellike. An offstage written test determined the top 41 spellers to move on to the finals, and Vanessa placed 42nd, just two points behind. The starting field of spellers was 541.
Vanessa's older brother, Victor Xiao '18, advanced to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2014. WTHR interviewed the siblings on their experiences.
Vanessa said in the interview: "Whenever someone gets out, we're always very sympathetic because we know that everybody worked hard to get here. I don't think I've really met a person who is like...hoping you would fail."
Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment, Vanessa!