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Kumarasinghe Takes Top Spot in CCSD’s 2019 Spelling Bee

It took 30 rounds to get to the final word of the night in the Charleston County School District (CCSD) 2019 Spelling Bee held January 17, 2019 at Burke High School. Orange Grove Charter School 7th grader Ranitha Kumarasinghe spelled “debacle” with ease, giving him the title. 

Forty-two students from 38 schools began the competition. Only four scholars took the top four spots. Eighteen students total advanced to the SpellBound! 2019 competition sponsored by the Post and Courier on March 7, 2019. 

Kumarasinghe was the 2018 CCSD Spelling Bee runner-up and the winner of the Post and Courier’s SpellBound! 2018 competition. 

“I was much more confident this year because I knew the words from last year,” said Kumarasinghe. “I studied every chance I got.” 

Kumarasinghe edged out John Ryan Ottaviano, an 8th grader from Camp Road Middle School. 

Kumarasinghe also had to spell “prosciutto” once Ottaviano barely missed it. 
“I am very nervous about moving forward to SpellBound!, but I’ll just enjoy the moment right now,” Kumarasinghe said. ”I’ll just continue to study.” 

The winner of SpellBound! 2019 moves on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., which will be held in May.

The following CCSD students advanced to The Post and Courier SpellBound! Spelling Bee: 

1st place: Ranitha Kumarasinghe, Orange Grove Charter School, 7th grade 
2nd place: John Ryan Ottaviano, Camp Rad Middle School, 8th grade 
3rd place: Randolph Villariza, School of the Arts, 6th grade 
4th place: Grace Reed, Laing Middle School, 6th grade