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Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy sixth-grader, Pavani Chittemsetty, won the Arkansas State Spelling Bee hosted by The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette at Central Baptist College on March 10. The 11-year-old outspelled 57 other competitors to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. The event will be televised across the country May 29-31.

Chittemsetty, making her fourth appearance at the state bee, won this year’s competition by correctly spelling “laterigrade.” This will be a return to the national meet that she competed in two years ago.

“We are so proud of Pavani. She’s spent countless hours working toward this,” says Chittemsetty’s history teacher, Rachael Armstrong. “She’s a determined, hard-working student and we are honored to have her represent our school. Pavani’s peers are supportive and very proud of her.”

This year will mark the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee. Chittemsetty will try to become the first speller from Arkansas to win the competition. Only three 11-year-olds have ever won the competition that is open to students from third to eighth-grade and as old as 14.

ResponsiveEd® is a non-profit corporation that operates more than 70 tuition-free public schools throughout Texas and Arkansas, including Premier High Schools℠, ResponsiveEd Classical Academies, Founders Classical Academies®, Quest Academies, iSchool High®, and iSchool Virtual Academy. ResponsiveEd’s mission is to provide hope to students through innovative, character-based, personalized learning environments. To learn more, visit

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Billy Rudolph
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