Rare Words Spell Success for 2 at UT Dallas Bees

Winners in Contests Hosted by University Advance to Televised Competition

March 4, 2009

The words mynheer and gavelkind may not be used often, but they were the keys to winning the 2009 Dallas County public and private spelling bees.

The top spellers from the contests move on to the televised regional bee on March 21.

Adit Vidyashankar, a student from Newton Academy in Coppell, won the contest for private-school students on Feb. 12. He correctly spelled mynheer, a title used before the name of a Dutch or Dutch-speaking man.

The runner-up in the private-schools contest was Hannah Harris from Irving’s Universal Academy. A total of 45 students competed.

Lorenzo D. Johnson, of W.H. Atwell Middle School in Dallas, correctly spelled gavelkind to win the public-schools contest on Feb. 26. The word describes the process of dividing an estate equally among heirs. The runner up was Chibueze Umeakuana of Houston Middle School in Garland. A total of 35 students competed.

It was the first year for UT Dallas to host the Dallas County bees, which have been sponsored by Dallas County Schools for more than 25 years.

The University also is the presenting sponsor of the 51st annual Dallas Morning News Regional Spelling Bee, which will be broadcast live on WFAA-TV (Channel 8) at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 21. Whataburger is the Busy Bee Sponsor, and Southwest Airlines  is the Travel Sponsor for the regional bee.

The winner of the regional bee will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., May 26 and 27. The bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and sponsors.


Media Contacts: Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4329, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Adit Vidyashankar outspelled 44 competitors in the private school competition. Adit attends Newton Academy in Coppell.

Lorenzo Johnson

Lorenzo D. Johnson of W.H. Atwell Middle School in Dallas was the top speller out of a pack of 35 contestants in the contest for public school students.

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August 20, 2014