Two Students Earn Spots in National Bees

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2012 – Two middle school students from Defense Department schools received a coveted spot on the stage of this year’s National Spelling Bee and National Geography Bee.

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Anuk Dayaprema, a seventh-grade student at Vincenza Middle School, Italy, represented Defense and State Department schools at the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week in Washington, D.C. Courtesy photo

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Anuk Dayaprema, a 7th grade student at Vincenza Middle School, Italy, represented DOD and State Department schools at the Scripps National Spelling Bee here this week. While he didn’t make it into the semifinals yesterday, Anuk is the first student from the school to place in the national bee. It was his second year in the contest, and he scored two points closer to the semifinals than last year, he said.

Army Master Sgt. Ganege Dayaprema, who serves with U.S. Special Operations Command in Vicenza, said he is proud of his son for placing in the top 50 two years in a row among 278 participants of the national spelling bee.

Anuk – No. 37 in the bee – is a competitive swimmer whose favorite subject is math. He described his week with the bee as something special. “When you see these kids and see how they break down these words, it’s really amazing,” he said.

Last week, Dominik Muellerleile, an eighth-grade student at Wiesbaden Middle School, Germany, represented DOD and State Department schools in the 24th annual National Geographic Bee here.

Although Dominik didn’t make it into the final round of 10 contestants, he congratulated those who did. “I was able to answer many of the questions at the national level, but the competitors in the final ten had really hard questions and can really be congratulated on how hard they studied,” he said.

David Muellerleile, a civilian with the Army Corps of Engineers, said his son was proud to be among just 54 students for the national bee, which he called “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“It was a great experience,” Muellerleile said. “They are all great kids. They are all champions by winning at the state level.”

Both families got to spend a week of their respective bee events sightseeing in the nation’s capital.

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