In 2009, Kavya won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, a dream come true after nearly 7 years of hard work.
With persistent hard work, Kavya's goal of winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the longest-running educational contest in the United States of America, came to fruition for her. After her win, Kavya appeared on many TV shows and news channels.
She was also invited to grace several events across the country as a guest and met many dignitaries, all of which culminated in a meeting with the President of the United States in the Oval Office.
Earlier in 2017, Kavya earned her bachelor's degree in Neuroscience at Columbia University in the City of New York. Currently, Kavya is a first-year medical student at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Kavya continues to display her passion for the English language through volunteering in the community to help other children reach for success in the area of spelling. She has found that the discipline she inculcated through preparing for spelling bees has served her well beyond spelling bees.
She has served as a pronouncer at the UAE Spelling Bee since 2012. She is also the official pronouncer for the North South Foundation (NSF, www.northsouth.org) spelling bees held in the US. She has been pronouncing at the NSF regional spelling bees since 2009 and at the NSF national competitions since 2011.
Mr. Mirle Shivashankar is a consulting IT Professional from Olathe, Kansas in the United States. He is also a spelling bee consultant, spelling bee coach, word list manager, and spelling bee judge. He began his spelling bee career as a coach in 2003.
He has coached many students who have qualified for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Among them are his daughters Kavya Shivashankar, the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, and Vanya Shivashankar, who won the coveted Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2015. Vanya, at the age of ten, also earned the distinction of the only speller to achieve a perfect score during the preliminaries of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Mr. Shivashankar has been judging spelling bees and conducting spelling bee workshops across the US for several years now. He is currently the word list manager and the chief judge for the NSF National Spelling Bee, a competition in the US that attracts many Scripps-caliber students. He has also served as the word list manager and a chief judge for the UAE Spelling Bee since 2012.