Return to Headlines

EPISD Student Spotlight: Arnav Tonde, Wiggs Middle


(WIGGS MIDDLE SCHOOL -- April 26, 2021) — El Paso Regional Spelling Bee runner-up Arnav Tonde isn’t just a champion speller. The Wiggs Middle School sixth grader who hopes to become a doctor one day also enjoys sports and the Minecraft videogame. We sat down virtually with Arnav in this edition of the EPISD Student Spotlight to talk to him about his spelling bee skills and how he’s thriving during the pandemic.

EPISD: How did it feel to be the runner up at the El Paso Regional Bee? 

ARNAV TONDE: It felt bad at first to get second, but after some time I realized that it was a pretty big achievement. 

EPISD: How did you prepare for the El Paso Regional Spelling Bee?  

AT: I prepared for the Spelling Bee by reading the words in the list and then having my parents quiz me on them. I started practicing as soon as I got the list. 

EPISD: You have a propensity for spelling. Tell us a little bit about your strategy? 

AT: I first listen to the word, then ask the definition, and then spell the word. If I am very confused, I will ask for the language of origin, too.

EPISD: What other activities do you excel at in school? 

AT: I love math and science and I always code whenever I can. I also love to play videogames, basketball and soccer.

EPISD: What do you do for fun – especially during COVID? 

AT: I play tennis and basketball. On the weekends I play Minecraft. I also go on walks around my neighborhood.

EPISD: What have you done to keep motivated during quarantine? 

AT: I keep my mind off Covid and focus on other things. I also remind myself that Covid will soon end, and I will be able to see my friends again.

EPISD: What do you want to do as soon as the pandemic is over? 

AT: I want to go to school and not have to be paranoid all the time. I also would like to finally be able to be with my friends without a mask.

EPISD: What do aspire to be when you grow up and do you know what college you want to attend?
AT: I want to be a doctor when I grow up because I can help people every day and I want to go to either Harvard, Stanford or Yale for college. 


Interview by Reneé de Santos
Photo by Leonel Monroy