O'Mara, Palmesano, and Senate and Assembly colleagues pay tribute to National Spelling Bee co-champ Sriram Hathwar at Capitol

Thomas F. O'Mara

June 09, 2014

Albany, N.Y., June 10—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano paid tribute at the Capitol today to Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, this year’s 87th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee co-champion.

O’Mara and Palmesano sponsored a Legislative Resolution honoring Hathwar’s achievement, which was presented to all of the members of the State Legislature during today’s Senate and Assembly sessions.  Hathwar was recognized in person by each legislative house.

[watch Senator O'Mara's remarks on the Senate floor, and watch the reading of today's Legislative Resolution HERE]

Hathwar is the son of Jagadeesh and Roopa Hathwar, who are both physicians in Corning.  He’s an eight-grader at Corning’s Alternative School for Math and Science. He was joined by his parents, brother Jairam and grandmother Bhageerathi, who travelled from India to attend the Spelling Bee and stay for a visit with her family.  

[In the photo above, from l. to r.: Bhageerathi, Senator O'Mara, Roopa, Sriram, Jairam, Jagadeesh and Assemblyman Palmesano] 

The Corning Rotary Club sponsored Hathwar for this year’s competition.

“We’re grateful to have this opportunity to pay tribute to Sriram’s championship,” O’Mara and Palmesano said in a joint statement.  “It’s a fantastic achievement by an outstanding young man with a truly bright future.  It’s a great story, and we’re proud to help celebrate it.”

Hathwar, 14, was the co-winner of the 87th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, May 29, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland.  He shared this year’s top prize with 13-year-old Ansun Sujoe of Forth Worth, Texas.  It was the first time in 52 years that there were co-champions of the event. 

It was also the fifth time that Hathwar has participated in the National Spelling Bee.  In 2008, as an eight–year-old second-grader, he was at that time the Bee’s youngest-ever competitor.  He finished third last year.

Hathwar is the first champion from upstate New York since 1976 when Tom Kneale of Syracuse was the champion.