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Tanish Doshi of BASIS Oro Valley Wins the 2021 Arizona Spelling Bee!


Matthew Feller l 480-228-6407

Phoenix, Ariz., March 20, 2021 — Tanish Doshi, an 8th grader from BASIS Oro Valley in Pima County has out-spelled 26 other competitors to win the 2021 Arizona Spelling Bee hosted by the Arizona Educational Foundation on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Tanish correctly spelled the word “cadre” in the 25th round to win the bee.

Tanish enjoys biking and hiking the many trails around Tucson, doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and he can almost always be found with a book. His favorite subject in school is history although he also likes physics.

In second place was Ananya Goli, a 5th grader at BASIS Phoenix Central, and in third place we had Esha Marupudi, a 3rd grader from BASIS Chandler Primary South Campus.

This year’s Arizona Spelling Bee was held in a virtual format to accommodate for COVID-19 restrictions. Spellers competed against each other from 25 different school locations across the state. “This year’s bee was uniquely challenging, and our 27 spellers did an exceptional job adapting and rising to the occasion,” says Matthew Feller, Arizona Spelling Bee Director, “I’m very proud of all of them.”

The 2021 Arizona Spelling Bee was made possible by a generous grant from Thunderbirds Charities. “We are excited to support AEF’s Arizona State Spelling Bee," said Tim Woods, Thunderbirds Charities President. "The goal of this program is to improve students verbal and written literacy skills and build self-confidence. We are proud to be part of this ongoing tradition in the State of Arizona.”

Tanish will now represent the State of Arizona in the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. This year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee will occur in an online format for all preliminary rounds, culminating in a top 10 who will be invited by Scripps to attend the National Finals in-person at the ESPN Wide World of Sports facility in Florida.

The final rounds of the virtual 2021 Arizona Spelling Bee were recorded and will be posted to the Arizona Educational Foundation YouTube Channel on Friday, March 26th at 10:00AM.

This is the 23rd year the Arizona Educational Foundation has sponsored the Arizona Spelling Bee.

About Arizona Educational Foundation: The mission of AEF is to identify, support and celebrate excellence in Pre-K-12th grade Arizona public education through business and community partnerships. We do this through a variety of programs for teachers, administrators, and students. Some of our programs shine a spotlight on excellence; others provide a steppingstone to help support schools and educators on the road to awesomeness. In addition to the Arizona Teacher of the Year program, AEF also coordinates the Arizona State Spelling Bee, the A+ School of Excellence Award, the Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona, teachSTEM, and Take Your Legislator to School. AEF was founded in 1983 by then State Superintendent of Public Education, Carolyn Warner, who felt a nonprofit needed to be established to champion public education and recognize the great work of public school educators.

About Thunderbirds Charities: The Thunderbirds began in 1937, when the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce expanded its role as a convention and tourism bureau. There was a need for a special events committee to venture into new fields. Five young executives were selected to lead the committee. The Phoenix Chamber of Commerce suggested that the committee become an “official” group and expand its membership. Each of the five then selected ten additional members to make up a committee of 55. The Thunderbird name was chosen because the emblem of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was, and still is, a Thunderbird derived from American Indian symbols. One of the early inductees was Bob Goldwater, an avid golfer. Goldwater thought it would be a great idea to sponsor a golf tournament. That first year, Goldwater sold the tickets, recruited volunteers and set up the golf course at the Phoenix Country Club. The Phoenix Open caught on, and in 83 years, has developed into one of the leading stops on the PGA TOUR. Goldwater was Tournament Chairman from 1934 through 1951 and is affectionately called the “Father of The Phoenix Open.” Active Thunderbird membership is limited to 55 members. Each has demonstrated a sincere interest in sports and a dedication to community affairs. All Thunderbird activities and events are the prime responsibility of these Active Thunderbirds and are under the watchful eye of the Big Chief and Thunderbird Council. When a Thunderbird reaches the age of 45, their status changes from Active to that of Life Member. Although they are relieved of continuous duties, it is not unusual to see a Life Thunderbird lending a helping hand at The Waste Management Phoenix Open or one of the many other Thunderbird-sponsored events. To date, there are over 300 members comprising The Thunderbirds organization.


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