AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – As the evening hours began to evaporate late last Friday, June 2, the confidence of a locally-based seventh-grader competing in the national spelling bee in National Harbour, Maryland, appeared to be growing.
After a tumultuous 17 rounds and the first-ever “spell off” in the competition’s history, Aurora’s own Vikram Raju, aged 12, claimed second place in the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee, losing out to San Antonio’s Harini Logan, 14.
Now, the city he hails from wants to bestow some well-deserved honor upon him for putting the city on the largest phonics-focused stage in the best of ways.
Friday, Raju from Aurora Quest K-8 was christened “Honorary Junior Library Director” by Library & Cultural Services Director Midori Clark during a ceremony at the Aurora Central Library.
In addition to receiving that title, Mayor Mike Coffman also awarded Vikram a special Aurora Scholar recognition.
“The Aurora Scholar recognition for Raju is unique as nominations for the program usually come from the schools,” Senior Media Relations Strategist Michael Brannen said. “Given the magnitude of Raju’s accomplishment [on] the national stage, the library decided to nominate him and confer the award.”
Vikram Raju’s list of spelling bee words
- Round 1 – Seneschal
- Round 2 – Probative
- Round 3 – Periphrasis
- Round 4 – Haikai
- Round 5 – Rousseauism
- Round 6 – Sisyphean
- Round 7 – Golilla
- Round 8 – Cytisine
- Round 9 – Dreadnought
- Round 10 – Dasypodid
- Round 11 – Congener
- Round 12 – Opisometer
- Round 13 – Coracidium
- Round 14 – Senijextee (spelled incorrectly; still advanced after Harini missed her word)
- Round 15 – Caul (spelled incorrectly; still advanced after Harini missed her second word)
- Round 16 – Otukian (spelled incorrectly; still advanced after Harini missed her word)
- Round 17 – Pyrrolidone (spelled incorrectly; still advanced after Harini missed her word)
At the end of the spelling bee, Vikram made it clear his intent to return to the competition in 2023.
This was the third time he had competed in the competition, having taken home both 51st place in 2019 and 21st place in 2021. So, if patterns and trends are anything to put trust in, then officials over at the city of Aurora might need to start prepping another honor to crown Vikram with this time next year.