Gov. Abbott recognizes Janga as two-time national champ

Gov. Greg Abbott (center) recognized Nihar Janga (right of Abbott) of Steiner Ranch on Jan. 7. The Janga family attended the recognition as well as multiple Leander ISD Superintendent Bruce Gearing, trustees Pam Waggoner and Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, and others.

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Gov. Greg Abbott recently recognized Nihar Janga of Steiner Ranch for winning the 2019 National Geographic Bee and for being the co-champion in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2016.  

Janga was celebrated by the governor on Jan. 7 with his family, parents Narayana and Sushma and his sister, Navya.

Several Leander ISD  teachers, administrators and board members were present at the recognition including Superintendent Bruce Gearing and trustees Pam Waggoner and Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia attended the ceremony with Abbott. 

“It is customary for governors to recognize standout Texans like Nijar,” said Matt Mitchell, LISD spokesperson.

In May 2016, Janga became the youngest student, he was 11 then, to be named co-champion in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. His winning word “gesellschaft” 

Janga, who is now a 9th grader at Vandegrift HS, won the GeoBee on May 22 after spending years studying geography in preparation of the national stage. He made it to the finals of the GeoBee in 2018.

“I studied by looking at National Geographic sources like atlases, magazines, and their articles. I also looked at online databases like Wikipedia and Britannica to expand upon things I was not so sure about and to go further in depth with things that I already knew about,” he said in an earlier Four Points News article.

Janga added that all of his hard work over the past seven years paid off and he called it a relief.

After winning the 2019 National Geographic Bee on May 22, Janga said, “I felt very happy to become the only person to ever win the two top most championships for K-8 students. It was like standing on top of Mount Everest.”