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In the News: Anurag Kashyap
Anurag made the news in Scholastic News Edition 4, September 5, 2005.

Anurag Kashyap
Anurag Kashyap, 13, of California, is interviewed after winning the 78th annual National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., on June 2, 2005.
(Photo: Linda Spillers/AP Wide World )
Just 10 days after winning the 2005 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Anurag Kashyap returned home to a hero's welcome. Hundreds of his classmates had gathered on the campus quad to greet him with congratulatory signs, high-fives, and handshakes.

"Thank you so much," said Kashyap, an eighth-grader at Meadowbrook Middle School in Poway, California. "It means a lot to me that the whole school supports me."

In a matter of a week, Kashyap had gone from an ordinary middle school student to a national celebrity after he outlasted 272 of the country's top spellers at this year's spelling bee in Washington, D.C. After tying for 47th place last year, Kashyap had a modest goal—to make it to the fifth round.

Instead, the 13-year-old made it all the way to the 19th and final round and was the last speller standing. Along the way, he correctly spelled tongue-twisters like "sphygmomanometer" and "ornithrohynchous." His winning word? "Appoggiatura," which means "melodic tone."

When it comes to performing under pressure, Kashyap is a seasoned veteran. Besides participating in this year's National Spelling Bee, he has also taken part in state math and science competitions, as well as California's Geography Bee.

As a ninth-grader, Kashyap will not be eligible to compete in next year's contest. But that hasn't stopped the straight-A student from looking forward to the future.

"There's always new areas to compete in . . ." says Kashyap, who hopes to someday attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "I want to be on the debate team, and there's still math competitions and Science Olympiad . . ."

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