Theekshitha Karthik, a Year 6 student at Haileybury College’s Berwick campus, is one of the three winners of 2021 Prime Minister’s National Spelling Bee.
Three young Australians tackling some of the toughest words in the dictionary to top the country after beating almost 21,000 students from 490 schools around the country.
Obstreperous, connoisseur, meteorological and chihuahua were some of the words the top performers managed to spell correctly.
11-year-old Theekshitha Karthik is the winner in Years 5/6 category. Arielle Wong from Donvale Christian College, VIC (Year 3/4 category) and Evan Luc-Tran from The McDonald College, NSW (Year 7/8 category) are the other two winners.
Karthik told The Australian that she was so thrilled with her win “if I had a rocket I would definitely have blasted over the moon.”
“I was thinking it was a really good achievement to have come so far but I was thinking ‘what do I have to do to win?’,” she was quoted saying by the Australian.
“So I was trying my best and practising … because spelling is my passion.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison congratulated the winners and all those who took part in this year’s competition.
“Well done to all the students across the country who took up the challenge, and congratulations to all the winners,” the Prime Minister said.
“Whether you’re a Prime Minister or a plumber, a teacher or a doctor, a fighter pilot or a scientist, spelling and reading are foundation skills you’re always going to need.”
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said it was great to see a mix of students from a range of schools right around the country represented in the finals.
“Well done to everyone who took part and a particular thank you to all the teachers who encouraged and supported their students,” Minister Tudge said.
“As a Victorian, I was pleased to see so many kids from my home state in the finals.
“Improving school standards, particularly in literacy and numeracy are top priorities for me and the Government and events like the spelling bee are a great way for students to improve their skills.”