Pleasanton teen earns second place at regional Scripps spelling bee

Hart Middle School student Rohan Gupta hopes to help others learn the joy of vocabulary

A Hart Middle School student came in second place in the regional round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and now he plans to use that training to help others at his school.

Rohan Gupta, 14, made it to the final two at the March 19 competition after dedicating his free time to studying for the bee every year since fifth grade, he said.

"Going that far made me feel happy, and I've made new friends because of this," he said. "I've always had a love for language."

He got his start in elementary school and earned sixth place in his school's spelling bee, his mom Reena said. Since then, he's made it to the CBS Bay Area Regional Spelling Bee each year, but this is the closest he's ever gotten to qualifying for nationals in the highly competitive match.

She said Rohan has put in many long hours into preparing for the competition.

"We felt really good that he was able to get so far," his mom said. "The bee is just a goal, but the dedication is just amazing."

While he's disappointed he didn't qualify for the national round -- he missed "sciolto," and a San Jose student secured first place -- he's putting his energy into mentoring other students at Hart Middle, especially in subjects like vocabulary.

Rohan started the Peer Mentoring Program at Hart, a club where students help other students learn new skills and help with difficult school subjects. He said he hopes to help other students learn new vocabulary words, and maybe he can help some younger students prepare for next year's spelling bee.

Reena Gupta said her son got the idea for the program after tutoring one student at the urging of his teacher. She said he came home excited, the seed planted for his program. He told his mom: "If I can help the one child, I can help others, also."

"Whatever he does, he tries to take it to the next level," his mom said.

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Like this comment
Posted by Pierre
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 30, 2016 at 9:08 am

Its great to see kids making such a great effort to spell really super. "Sciolto" is a word we're all familiar with and use in every day conversations. Its too bad that this is what trippped him up. Bravo Rohan all the same!

3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Transplant
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 30, 2016 at 9:42 am

Congratulations, Rohan!

Like this comment
Posted by Raj Gandhasri
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:06 am

A small correction in

-- he missed "sciolto," and a Cupertino student secured first place --

It's a San Jose Student from Chaboya Middle School in evergreen school district. His name is Rutvik Gandhasri a 7th greader.

2 people like this
Posted by Raj Gandhasri
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:10 am

Congratulations Rohan!

Like this comment
Posted by Olfthful
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 31, 2016 at 9:36 pm

Congratulations Rohan!

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