Sabar Prasad has always had a connection with words.
"From the very first day when he started to learn words, he was very sure about the sounds," Rupa Prasad said of her son, a seventh grader at Malcom Bridge Middle School.
Sabar realized that gift translated into a talent for spelling when he placed sixth in his school's spelling bee last year. That's when he set a goal to win this year's competition and have a shot at the system-wide bee.
In preparation, Sabar says he spent countless hours practicing as his parents called out words. He even took the opportunity to study while traveling on an eight-hour journey for a ski trip with his family early this month.
"We left here at 5 a.m. from Athens and he wanted to start at 5 o'clock," Rupa Prasad recalled. "I said, 'son, the spelling bee is in 10 days,' but he was really into it."
"He really works hard," chimed in his dad, Ritesh.
All of that preparation and determination paid off for Sabar on Thursday afternoon.
He correctly spelled "aviation" to win the 2013 Oconee County Schools System Spelling Bee, which was held in the auditorium of the Oconee County Library.
Former Superintendent Dr. John Jackson served as the moderator and judges were retired educators Martha Collins, Roger Bailey and Gwen Peck. The Oconee County Association of Educators sponsored the competition.
Noah Fowler, an eighth grader at Oconee County Middle School, was the runner-up.
The two boys, the top spellers from their respective schools, were each awarded certificates and Barnes and Noble gift cards.
Sabar will represent the school system at the Georgia Association of Educators District 7 Spelling Bee, which will take place on Feb. 23 in Putnam County.
So, he said, it's time for more practice!
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