VIDEO: O’Mara Honors Painted Post Spelling Bee Winner

June 15, 2016

ALBANY, NY – State Senator Tom O’Mara honored Jairam Hathwar of Painted Post, this year’s co-champion of the 89thAnnual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano sponsored a Joint Legislative Resolution (J6253/K1488) 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.

In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “We’re extremely grateful to welcome Jairam to the State Capitol and to have this opportunity to salute and celebrate his National Spelling Bee championship. It’s an outstanding achievement and a testament to Jairam’s perseverance and talent. Like his older brother Sriram, who was the Spelling Bee co-champion two years ago, Jairam is poised for an extremely bright and successful future. So the Hathwar family can be doubly proud, as we know they are, and we share their well-deserved pride. It’s a great story and we’re proud to help honor it together with our Senate and Assembly colleagues.”

The O’Mara-Palmesano resolution reads, in part, “Jairam Hathwar, in achieving this high honor, may take just pride in the inspiration and contribution to the spirit of excellence he brings to his family, friends, school and region…Educational competitions which serve to better prepare our students for their future participation in the marketplace of ideas are worthy of praise and support… Poised with enthusiasm and determined purpose, this scholar now stands honorably, in eager anticipation of future challenges, understanding and appreciating the caring counsel and support provided by his teachers and parents.”

Jairam’s older brother, Sriram, was the co-champion of the 87th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2014. He was the first champion from upstate New York since 1976 when Tom Kneale of Syracuse was the champion.

Jairam and Sriram are the sons of Jagadeesh and Roopa Hathwar, who are both physicians in Corning. Jairam is a seventh-grader at The Alternative School for Math & Science in Corning. Jairam’s parents, brother Sriram, grandmother Bhageerathi, who traveled from India to attend the Spelling Bee, and close family friend Cynthia Adler of Corning, joined him in Albany on Wednesday.

The Corning Rotary Club sponsored Jairam for this year’s competition. The club also sponsored Sriram two years ago.

Jairam, 13, was declared co-champion of the 89th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, May 26, 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland. He shared this year’s top prize with 11-year-old Nihar Janga of Austin, Texas.

The 2016 Scripps Spelling Bee was broadcast nationwide on ESPN and featured 285 spellers from around the world ranging in age from 8-14 years old.