LONGMONT, Colo. — Longmont's Tejas Raman could definitely be a leading candidate for the Scripps National Spelling Bee's Rookie of the Year, if that award existed.
"He came back home saying, "Guess what! I won the class bee." And the next day, next time he comes and says he won the school bee and he's ready for the regional," said Rupa Krishnamani, Tejas' mom.
After entering in his first spelling bee this year, 12-year-old Tejas is headed to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
He’s always been a reader, as evidenced by the massive Hogwarts castle in his room. But he’s also always been someone who could just figure stuff out, especially computers.
"Well, when he was 4 years old, he ordered a bunch of stuff on Amazon and signed us up for Amazon Prime," said Raman Venkataramani, Tejas' dad.
Tejas even learned guitar. But after winning his school spelling bee at Boulder Country Day School — without preparing at all — Tejas knew he really had to step it up for Boulder’s regional spelling bee. He started studying for hours a day.
"I'm surprised I got to the end, actually," Tejas said. "And I was hoping I'd get there. I spent a lot of time studying."
After getting past the regional bee, he’s now studying two hours a day for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Since it’s his first year, Tejas hopes to at least get to the semi-finals, but he’s just happy to compete — something kids actually don’t always get to do when they don’t play many sports.
"Actually, I like having competition where it's not centered around sports," Tejas said. "I want to say I'm absolutely terrible at sports, and I don't like playing them. I get to compete at something, but it's not a sport. It's something I can actually do."
Tejas is in sixth grade, so he knows he still has two years to enter the Scripps National Spelling Bee after this year. But he says he’s still going to make the most of this one.
"I want to do my the best I can. But then it's not like I'm in eighth grade and I get one chance and one chance only. I have two more years. I have seventh grade, eighth grade," Tejas said. "I’ll be patient with this."