Francis Parker School’s Snigda Nandipati – an Inland North County resident — became one of 50 semifinalists on this week at the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee Contest.

The Rancho Penasquitos 7th grader earned her place out of the 275 contestants from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe.  Additionally, Nandipati is the only remaining student from California as the other 14 participants from the state were eliminated.

All 275 contestants took a written spelling test on Tuesday that consisted of 25 words that were read aloud.  The students completed the test in two hours and were given one point for each correct spelling.

Wednesday’s portion of the contest consisted of two rounds in which each student was given one word to spell orally in each round.  The contestants would earn three points for spelling each word correctly.

Nandipati correctly spelled “avifauna” in round two and “masala” in round three.  Her test results from round one were good enough to advance her on to the third round where she will compete live on ESPN beginning at 7 a.m. PST on Thursday, June 2.

Students who complete the Semifinal rounds will then compete in the Championship round that begins at 5:30 p.m. PST Thursday evening.  The Championship round will also be aired live on ESPN.

Francis Parker School, which had not participated in the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition prior to this year, began its relationship with the competition due in large part to the efforts of Dan Lang, a Middle School English teacher and grade level coordinator at Parker.  Nandipati won the school’s contest in February, making her eligible to compete in the San Diego County Spelling Bee Championship.  She won that event back on March 22 by correctly spelling “wastrel”.