Banner commemorates national spelling bee champion from Olathe

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Banner for Vanya at California Trail Middle School

OLATHE, Kan. — Scripps’ National Spelling Bee champion Vanya Shivashankar received an honor Friday at her school.

California Trail Middle School unveiled a banner in the school gym to mark her win in this year’s spelling bee. Shivashankar shares the title with Gokul Venkatachalam of Chesterfield, Mo. The two were flawless during the championship round, nearly exhausting the 25 words in the round and by rule  share the title.

Here are the words Vanya spelled correctly in the final round:

cytopoiesis
backfisch
bayadere
cibarial
bouquetiere
thamakau
tantieme
urgrund
myrmotherine
zimocca
hippocrepiform
scacchite
bruxellois
scherenschnitte

The bee hadn’t ended in a tie for 52 years — until last year. Now it’s happened for an unprecedented two years running. Why? There weren’t enough words left on the competition’s list for them to keep facing off until only one was left.

The banner that now hangs at her middle school is next to the one that honors her sister, who won the national title in 2009.