OLATHE, Kan. - Vanya Shivashankar won the Olathe Public Schools Spelling Bee Thursday morning, making it the third time she will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
She's hoping the third time's the charm.
The sixth grader at California Trail Middle School outlasted more than 40 other students during competition at Frontier Trail Middle School. For her, victory was spelled "m-a-l-a-d-r-o-i-t." Maladroit means awkward.
But Vanya won't be awkward in the national spotlight. In 2010, she was 49th place overall, and she tied for 10th last year.
Her sister, Kavya, won the national bee in 2009.
"You kind of have to really want to like do spelling," Vanya said of the competition. "Your goal should be not just to win, but just to have fun. And that's what I have. I have a lot of fun when I spell."
Vanya was awarded flowers, and of course, "another" dictionary for her win.