Ten-year-old Vipanchi Mungara, who attends Hillsboro’s Carden Cascade Academy, can spell with the best of COURTESY PHOTO - Vipanchi Mungara, 10, will represent Hillsboros Carden Cascade Academy at the Regional Spelling Bee in Portland on March 15. She hopes to qualify for the national bee.

The fifth-grader is headed to the Regional Spelling Bee March 15 at Portland’s Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., sponsored by the Portland Tribune/Comcast.

Vipanchi is one of 50 finalists from schools in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties who will spell their hearts out for the honor of going to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in June.

To qualify for the regional level, Vipanchi won her class spelling bee and her school spelling bee, taking top honors by correctly spelling the word “plagiarism.”

According to her mother, Archana Sridhar, “Vipanchi has had a natural love for languages since her childhood. The Carden [Cascade Academy] curriculum and methodology enhanced her love for language further and helped her to develop her skill organically.”

Vipanchi enjoys learning Indian classical dancing and taekwondo. She takes Indian voice lessons, participates in youth triathlons and enjoys knitting, swimming, biking and playing chess.

In between school and other activities, Vipanchi practices her spelling skills. She studies the prescribed word lists and uses other resources, apps and word games.

“We help by connecting her to the right resources and talking to her about the words and her understanding,” her mom said.

As expected, Vipanchi said she feels nervous, but is “looking forward to the competition” next week. The butterflies are not new to her, though.

She has participated in spelling bee contests conducted by other organizations (such as North South Foundation) at regional and national levels for the past three years.

The Regional Spelling Bee begins at 10 a.m. It is open to the public and free to attend.

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