Skip to main content

Sandy Journal

Surya Kapu wins Regional Spelling Bee for the fourth time

Mar 21, 2023 10:02AM ● By Peri Kinder

When Surya Kapu, 13, spelled “linstock” correctly, he walked away as the winner of 2023 Regional Spelling Bee. The South Jordan resident will represent American Preparatory Academy Draper #3 at the 95th Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 30-June 1 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. This will be Surya’s third time at the national competition, where he took fifth place in 2022.

Sponsored by the City Journals, the 2023 Regional Spelling Bee was held at Juan Diego High School on March 11, with nearly 170 students participating from 104 Utah schools.

To prepare for the spelling bee, Surya said he studies up to two hours each day. “A lot of it is just going through the dictionary and trying to find good words and looking at their information like their definition and origin,” he said. “I just have to keep studying and try my best and try to go as far as I can.”

It was his fourth time winning the regional competition, and he’s excited about a second chance at winning the national title. He said staying calm is key during the bee as stress and expectations can trip a speller up.

“Sometimes it helps to take deep breaths and drink lots of water,” he said. “Try not to think about things too much, try not to think about the words for the other contestants. Just try to chill out and relax, especially when you’re getting to the end of the bee and the words get harder. But I try to stay calm.”

Surya will travel to Washington, D.C. with his parents and sister, all paid for by the City Journals. There’s also a possibility that the second-place speller, Brooke Powell, will have the chance to attend the national spelling bee.

City Journals Publisher Bryan Scott is working with Scripps to see if he can send a second speller to represent Utah. If a person or business is interested in sponsoring Brooke’s trip to Washington, D.C., contact Scott at [email protected].

Brooke, who turned 12 the day before the regional competition, is a homeschooled student and resident of Fruit Heights. She finished in fourth place in last year’s bee.

“I’m not necessarily a writer, but I do write my spelling words down when I study them,” Brooke said. “I’m more of a drawing person but I’m naturally good at spelling because I have a strong ability to memorize things.”

Surya is looking forward to visiting the museums and historic buildings in the nation’s capital. He encourages other students to get involved with the spelling bee and maybe win a trip to Washington. For more information about the national spelling bee, visit

“Try your best. Have fun with it and work hard,” Surya said. “It’s a fun experience.”

Scott said the City Journals sponsors the bee each year because strong spelling skills are good for many professions. The competition recognizes students who work hard and take the time to practice. He also appreciates the sponsors who make the bee possible each year.

“I want to thank Juan Diego for hosting the regional spelling bee at their facility, we are so lucky to have a great partner,” Scott said. “I also want to thank RubySnap who donated cookies and Handel's Ice Cream for presenting free ice cream coupons for spellers.”