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Ashley River’s Shivam Kolwalkar takes title at regional Spelling Bee

ARCA Spelling ChampionThere is a new Spelling Bee champion in the Lowcountry: Shivam Kolwalkar of Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School. He won the 2022 Post and Courier Spellbound! on March 25, 2022, at the North Charleston Athletic Center. The fifth-grader edged out a former Unicorn, Jordan Bazzle (now a sixth-grader at Charleston County School of the Arts) for the title.

Kolwalkar spelled “cabaret” to lock up his spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee; he will compete in the virtual preliminaries in May. If Kolwalkar advances through the preliminaries, he will travel to Washington, D.C. for the finals.

“Since the CCSD Spelling Bee, I studied the words for about 30 minutes every day, but sometimes longer on the weekends,” said Kolwalkar. “I was nervous when I got [to Spellbound!]. I didn’t think I was going to win, but I thought I could. When it got down to two people, I got more nervous. When I heard the announcer give me the word cabaret, I knew I was going to win!

This is the third straight year a student from Charleston County School District (CCSD) finished first in Spellbound!

The 30th edition of Spellbound! included students from CCSD, Berkeley County School District, Colleton County School District, Dorchester School District Two, Dorchester School District Four, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, Christian Home Educators Association, and the South Carolina Independent School Association.

“We are so proud of Shivam and will be cheering him on in the next round on the way to the National Bee,” said Principal Michelle Conner.

For more information, contact Michelle Conner at