Portsmouth Middle School has a three time spelling bee champion after Aadhavan Veerendra won the New Hampshire State Spelling Bee on Saturday.

It came down to Veerendra, nicknamed 'Addy', and Iris LaMoreaux of Plymouth after seven rounds of competition at the Capital Center for the Arts in Concord, according to the Union Leader, sponsor of the state spelling bee.

After four rounds going head to head, Addy was victorious by spelling "obmutescence" correctly. It is a synonym for silence.

The seventh-grader will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June in Washington. It's the first time he will get to compete in the nationals in person, as the national contest was canceled by the pandemic in 2020 and only the final round was in-person in 2021.

Hard Work and Practice

His father, Veerendra Kumaran Krishnan, said that his son and his mother, Uma Veerendra, practice every day

"He works hard. His mother challenges him a lot," Krishnan told Seacoast Current. "Every day they learn a new set of words. It takes time, it takes multiple rounds to get the words correct, but I appreciate both of their commitment."

Portsmouth Middle School principal Phillip Davis said that Addy and his mother spend four hours every weekend studying.

"He studies lists of words, word origins, spelling patterns of different languages, and plays spelling games," Davis said.

Addy showed a talent for spelling since he was in kindergarten, something his mother encouraged.

"He was able to spell complex words like 'supersonic' and 'carbon dioxide," Krishnan said. "She got him involved in some coaching and training."

"Very much a typical middle school student"

Addy favorite subjects are math and science, but he's a long way from picking something he'd like to pursue when he grows up.

"We have asked this multiple times. Every time, he changes and has a new answer. Last time, he said paleontologist," Krishnan said.

Davis said the school is also proud of Addy and his accomplishments.

"What is really cool about Addy is that he is very much a typical middle school student. He is smiling and joking with friends between classes. Addy has a lot of positive energy, and does not give off the vibe of a book worm that one might think of when imagining a spelling bee champion," Davis said.

"We are honored to have a representative from Portsmouth Middle School going forward to the national competition, and wish him luck in doing so," he told Seacoast Current.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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