Austin Elementary student makes it to fourth round of National Spelling Bee

Sarv Dharavane holds his state championship trophy (Photo supplied by DeKalb County Schools).

Austin Elementary’s rising fifth grader Sarv Dharavane has moved through the fourth round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is being held in National Harbor, Md., this week. 

The other contestant representing the Georgia Association of Educators, Matthew Baber, faltered in the fourth round with the word “bicitaxi,” which is a combination bicycle/taxi. 

Dharavane correctly spelled “sagum” in the fourth tier of competition on Wednesday, a round that is seeing more failure than success as the words become more difficult. Sagum is a cloak made of coarse wool “fastened usually on the right shoulder, and worn especially by Gauls, early Germans, and soldiers of ancient Rome,” according to the Miriam-Webster dictionary. 

In the first round May 28, Dharavane and Babar sailed through, with Dharavane spelling “motherrumbung,” a brushy shrub that is found in Australia, and Babar nailing “trouvaille,” which is a lucky find or a windfall. 

During his run to the state title, Dharavane was perfect – from “mischievous” to “dashiki.” Through 18 rounds, the 10-year-old beat 19 other students and was crowned the winner of the 63rd Annual Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) State Spelling Bee.  

He, along with Baber, an eighth grader at Rising Star Middle School in Fayette County who was last year’s champion, represented Georgia in the national contest,

The semi-finals and finals will be broadcast on ION from 8-10 p.m. EST today, May 29, and 30.


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