Speller No. 90, Vanya Shivashankar

The Olathe News, Olathe, Kansas


Seventh Grade




California Trail Middle School, Olathe, Kansas


Vanya is an international adventurer who has been to seven countries so far and even went paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland, in 2011. When she was in Scotland last year, she went skeet shooting for the first time — she was surprisingly good and had a great time. Someday, she wants to travel to the Leaning Tower of Pisa to get one of those classic photographs that makes it look like she’s holding it up herself. She loves singing and acting, and being on stage in front of a live audience is one of her favorite activities. Though she loves all animals, dogs and pandas are her absolute favorites. Vanya's older sister Kavya is the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion and Vanya considers herself lucky to have such a supportive role model who embodies moral values and perseverance. Speaking of perseverance, Vanya has competed in three previous national finals, in 2010 and 2012, and in 2013 when she tied for 5th place.

Return to Speller Roster