Sperreng Middle pupil wins spelling bee hat trick

For the third consecutive year, Sperreng Middle School pupil Rajiv Tarigopula won the Post-Dispatch Spelling Bee.

Rajiv, 12, a Sperreng seventh-grader and a member of the Program for Exception-ally Gifted Students, will represent the St. Louis region at the Scripps Howard Na-tional Spelling Bee on June 1 and June 2 in Washington, D.C.

Rajiv clinched his third local spelling-bee title by correctly spelling the word “ju-venescence,” which means the state of being youthful.

Thirty other pupils participated in the competition, a news release stated, and Rajiv was the only one of eight finalists to spell his word correctly in the final round.

This will be Rajiv’s third trip to the Na-tional Spelling Bee. He tied for 16th place last year and finished 48th in 2003.