Academy Students Compete in Spelling Bee

Academy Students Compete in Spelling Bee

Could an Academy of Notre Dame student be the next Scripps National Spelling Bee champion? Ananya Pinnamaneni, a sixth grader from Nashua, NH, and the entire school sure hope so. 

Following classroom and grade-level competitions held in January, Pinnamaneni and 12 other finalists from grades three through eight took to the auditorium stage recently to compete for the school qualifying honors. All students had been studying for the spelling bee since December and each grade had designated words specific to their learning level. 

As the representatives from each grade approached the microphone their words were called out by the pronouncer, Donna Acquaviva, fourth grade teacher. Judges Katie Fratus, sixth-grade teacher and Caitlyn Shea, fifth-grade teacher provided definitions as needed.

The final round came down to Pinnamaneni and fellow sixth grader Saanvi Wadhwa also of Nashua, NH. Pinnamaneni won after correctly spelling the word “procession.” She will now be advancing to The Daily Item’s Written Round of the Regional Spelling Bee. This round will take place on March 1, where the top 50 scorers will then move on to the Regional Spelling Bee on March 13. 

Elizabeth O'Connell, Principal of the Early Years, Lower School and Middle School programs, says that the students were remarkable in their participation and eagerly took on the spelling bee. 

“It is rewarding to see our students take hold of this academic competition and truly want to excel and win,” explains O’Connell. “I was very proud of all our students and wish our school champion Ananya the best of luck as she represents NDA in the next level of competition.”

To learn more about the Academy's co-ed Early Years, Lower School and Middle School programs, or its all-girls Upper School, contact Admissions at (978)649-7611, Ext. 337, or visit