Virtual Regionals conclude for the South Asian Spelling Bee

Raleigh winners: Co-Champion – Zaila Avant-garde of Harvey, LA, left, and Co-Champion – Maya Jadhav of Fitchburg, Wisconsin (Photo: courtesy organizers)

Continuing its quest for the best speller in the country, the 2020 South Asian Spelling Bee (SASB) ( conducted the last of five virtual regional competitions this past weekend Aug. 29-30. This is the 13th year of the SASB.

Edison winners: Regional Champ – Nitya Kathiravan of Somerset, NJ, left; and First Runner up – Sirjana Kaur of Redmond, Washington (Photos: courtesy organizers)

Spellers from across the country participated in the Raleigh, NC, Edison, NJ, and Fremont, CA virtual regional centers, and even attracted some participants who have done well at the international level, organizers said in a press release.

The results of the regionals were as follows:


Raleigh, NC – The co-champions were Zaila Avant-garde (14) of Harvey, Louisiana, and Maya Jadhav (12) of Fitchburg, Wisconsin.

Edison, NJ – The regional champion was Nitya Kathiravan (12) of Somerset, NJ, and the first runner up was Sirjana Kaur (12) of Redmond, Washington.

Freemont, CA – The regional champion was Dean Alkhairy (14) of Newport Coast, CA, and the first runner up was Jayden Lee (13) of San Ramon, CA.

Fremont winners: Regional Champion – Dean Alkhairy of Newport Coast, CA, left; and First Runner up – Jayden Lee of San Ramon, CA

The top two spellers of each regional competition will advance to the finals, which will take place in New Jersey in September 2020. SASB will award the winner at the finals a champion’s grand prize of $3,000.

“It was a treat to see such talented spellers from across the country for our virtual edition,” Rahul Walia, founder of the SASB is quoted saying in the press release.

An initiative of the South Asian Engagement Foundation and managed by a multicultural marketing firm Touchdown Media, the South Asian Spelling Bee co-sponsors include Kawan Foods, Cue Math, Sony Entertainment Television and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

For the 2020 Virtual edition, Cuemath was also SASB’s Academic partner. “Math & Coding will be the language of the future. In a data driven world with AI at the forefront, it is necessary to have a strong mathematical foundation,” Manan Khurma, founder & CEO of Cuemath is quoted saying in the press release.

This year’s charity partner for the regional competitions in Fremont, California, and Seattle, Washington, is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which specializes in treating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The South Asian Engagement Foundation (SAEF) said it has a mission to increase leadership potential in migrant communities by providing incentives using educational initiatives and civic engagements.







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