CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — A Cherry Hill middle school celebrated their National Spelling Bee champion on Wednesday morning. It was a celebration fit for a champion at Rosa International Middle School as Shruthika Padhy was welcomed home by her teachers and friends. She was also honored by the Cherry Hill mayor.
As a Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, Shruthika has become the center of attention.
“I’m still not used to all the fanfare,” she said. “It’s amazing.”
Shruthika’s victory lap has been nonstop since her win.
“We rang the bell at NASDAQ, went to Times Square, went to BuzzFeed, went to Jimmy Kimmel,” the young girl said.
And she deserves it. The eighth-grader studied the dictionary five hours a night and 15 hours on weekends.
Because of it, she recognized her winning word.
“I knew that word once I heard it,” Shruthika said.
Each of this year’s eight champions took home a $50,000 prize.
While Shruthika has put most away for college, she also treated herself to a new pair of kicks.
“These are Air Force Ones,” she said. “These are the ones I bought.”
And for her 14th birthday, Nike is stepping up, too.
“Jordan and Nike are sending me a couple pairs of sneakers, which I found out yesterday for my birthday,” Shruthika said.
If you can believe it, Shruthika competed in the science bee this past weekend.
She is a role model of determination for her nearly 800 classmates.
“This is what can be done, these are the heights that you can achieve at a very young age,” Rosa International Middle School Principal George Guy said.
The hard work is far from over as Shruthika has a geometry final at the end of the day and graduation next Wednesday.