West Hartford Eighth Grader Makes It to Semifinals in National Spelling Bee

West Hartford’s Sedgwick Middle School eighth grader Arjun Jagiivan is becoming quite the celebrity—and well he should. The three-time West Hartford spelling bee champ made it all the way to the second round of the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday morning.

West Hartford's Arjun Jagjivan

West Hartford’s Arjun Jagjivan                    Photo Boston Globe

Arjun’s dad Bipin tells The Hanging Shad it was a nice accomplishment. “I’m very proud and like [Arjun], a bit disappointed. He spent months preparing and getting to the nationals was his goal and his dream.” The preparation included his friends at Sedgwick throwing words at him. The semifinals were on ESPN2 Thursday morning and the finals will be on ESPN Thursday night.

Bipin says his son will now return to his other interests which are many. “He swims—I told him that if he worked as hard at swimming as he did preparing for spelling bee, he’d be a champion swimmer. But he swims for fun, not for competition. He is also in the Boy Scouts and wants to be an Eagle Scout. He plays the violin and recently played at the Bushnell with his school.”

Bipin Jagiivan couldn’t remember the word Arjun misspelled but says he is staying in Maryland to watch the finals and will no doubt will be thinking, “I know that one!” “All the kids do that. These kids are very smart and sometimes get a bad reputation as just nerds but they all have other talents,” he said.

Arjun is also the star of a video segment that will be broadcast during the finals Thursday night.

Congratulations are certainly in order.