Tejas Muthusamy captures fourth straight HCPS spelling title

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Tejas Muthusamy spells a word at the 2017 HCPS Divisionwide Spelling Bee Wednesday night. The Moody Middle School eighth-grader won the contest, making the fourth year he has won the title, and his sixth year as a finalist.

Moody Middle School eighth-grader Tejas Muthusamy won Henrico Schools’ Divisionwide Spelling Bee Wednesday, making the fourth year he has won the title, and his sixth year as a finalist. This is the final year that Muthusamy is eligible to compete in the annual HCPS bee. The contest brings together spelling champions from each of HCPS’ 45 elementary schools and 12 middle schools to determine who will represent Henrico County Public Schools at the regional competition.

Muthusamy won in round 5 by correctly spelling “mangonel,” a military machine used primarily during the Middle Ages for hurling stones and other missiles. He clinched the win in round 6 by spelling “funambulist,” a word for tightrope walker or tightrope dancer. Hungary Creek Middle School eighth-grader Andre Tran was runner-up.

Muthusamy will compete next in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee March 11 at the Library of Virginia. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 he won that bee and advanced to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The Scripps bee will be held in late May and is televised by ESPN.

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Students introduce themselves at the 2017 HCPS Divisionwide Spelling Bee. The annual contest brings together spelling champions from each of Henrico Schools’ 45 elementary schools and 12 middle schools to determine who will represent the school division at the regional competition.

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The champion and runner-up of the 2017 HCPS Divisionwide Spelling Bee stand onstage with Henrico Schools leaders. From left to right: “Rich” Hall, director of elementary education; Tejas Muthusamy, 2017 champion; Beverly Cocke, Brookland District representative and chair, Henrico School Board; Andre Tran, 2017 runner-up; Ingrid Grant, director of middle school education; Mary Cox, director of elementary education; Beth Teigen, assistant superintendent for instruction.