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More than 50 of the best spellers from a dozen campuses across Texas recently took part in the fifth-annual ResponsiveEd District Spelling Bee held at Founders Classical Academy of Flower Mound.

The morning competition on May 30 consisted of 28 spellers from grades second through fifth. Fifth-grader Aaron Foo from Richardson Classical Academy outlasted Akshada Dhoke, Coppell Classical Academy fifth-grader, and correctly spelled “PROLIFIC” to claim the championship.

Kabilan Murugan (Founders Classical Academy eighth-grader)


The championship word for the afternoon round, which included 25 sixth- through eighth-graders, was “PETROGLYPHS.” Kabilan Murugan, an eighth-grader from Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville, correctly spelled the word to defeat seventh-grader Daniel Sheley, whom he had faced-off with before at his home campus.

2018 ResponsiveEd District Spelling Bee Results:

2nd – 5th Grade

  • 1st Place – Aaron Foo – Fifth Grade, Richardson Classical Academy
  • 2nd Place – Akshada Dhoke – Fifth Grade, Coppell Classical Academy
  • 3rd Place – Yuuki Uemura – Fifth Grade, Denton Classical Academy

    6th-8th-grade winners: (from left to right) Kabilan Murugan (Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville), Daniel Sheley (Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville), Nathan Foo (Richardson Classical Academy)

6th – 8th Grade

  • 1st Place – Kabilan Murugan – Eighth Grade, Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville
  • 2nd Place – Daniel Sheley – Seventh Grade, Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville
  • 3rd Place – Nathan Foo – Sixth Grade, Richardson Classical Academy

During the elementary-level competition, the final two competitors attempted a championship word six times before Aaron Foo eventually came away victorious.

“After they got to the final two spellers it took so long,” said Aaron’s father Ben. “I’m just glad it’s over!”

Aaron Foo (Richardson Classical Academy fifth-grader)


Aaron added, “It was very fun because I like learning words, their meanings and I like to write books.” He claims to have written more than 10 fiction novels in his spare time.

Ben Foo stuck around for the afternoon competition to watch his other son, sixth-grader Nathan, take home third place in the middle school division. He said, “I just tell them to have fun. I was proud that they qualified for the district meet but they have even higher expectations for themselves than I do.”

The middle school champion, Kabilan Murugan, was proud to claim his first championship after finishing in fourth place for three consecutive years in the district competition.

“When the fourth-place student was eliminated, we were just happy that he wasn’t going to finish fourth again,” said Kabilan’s mom Lavanya Murugan.

Kabilan says he doesn’t overstudy for competitions like this, “I’ve been doing this for a while so I have a routine. I don’t practice endlessly, I just look through study lists in the days leading up to the bee.”

“I love the fact that ResponsiveEd hosts its own spelling bee,” said Ms. Murugan. “My kids have been at Founders since it opened and we are not only impressed about events like this but have found that the curriculum and character education components are better than that of the local private schools we have considered.”

This is is the fifth year ResponsiveEd has hosted its district spelling bee. The competition is open to second- through eighth-graders who attend any of the ResponsiveEd Texas College Preparatory Academy (TCPA) schools and finish as one of the top three spellers at their campus bee.

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