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ATPE member named Scripps National Spelling Bee Teacher of the Year!

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 6/27/2022

Vihaan Sibal, a seventh-grade Midway ISD student who placed third in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., credits his former third-grade teacher and mentor, April McAdams, with much of his success.

In 2018, as McAdams’ student at South Bosque Elementary, Sibal won his first-ever spelling bee at the school. That same year, he qualified for the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition for the first time. This year—in his fourth appearance—he received his best result thus far.

Sibal nominated McAdams for the Teacher of the Year award for the encouragement and support she has shown him all these years. Her award includes a plaque, $500, and airline and hotel accommodations at the Gaylord National Resort for the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

McAdams’ own spelling bee journey began in elementary school with UIL competitions and continued through her high school career. She says that she is a speller by heart and now passes what she learned from her own competitions on to her students.

For the past five years, McAdams has been the spelling bee coordinator for South Bosque Elementary. She has helped many students become better at spelling and prepare for competitions—continuing to support them as they advance to the Central Texas Spelling Bee and beyond.

“This adventure has truly been a dream come true for both of us!” said McAdams. “Vihaan took a week break after returning from the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and he has now begun studying for the 2023 bee.”

Congratulations to both Sibal for his amazing third-place finish and McAdams for winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee Teacher of the Year award!