California's Aliya Deri Wins GSN's Second Annual 'National Vocabulary Championship' Finals

Deri Outperforms 49 of America's Top High School Vocabulary Scholars,

Winning $40,000 Toward a Higher Education Savings Plan

Mar 10, 2008, 01:00 ET from GSN

    LOS ANGELES, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Aliya Deri, a 16-year-old junior
 at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, CA, outperformed 49 of the
 country's brightest high school vocabulary scholars today, winning GSN's
 National Vocabulary Champion, Deri won $40,000 deposited into a "529"
 higher education savings plan. Select video coverage of the live
 competition, which took place at The Music Box Theatre @ Fonda in Los
 Angeles earlier today, can be found at
     A national academic competition launched by GSN (Game Show Network) in
 2006, the NVC was created to promote language arts skills and encourage
 vocabulary programs in high schools nationwide. More than a traditional
 "spelling bee," the NVC challenges high school students with a variety of
 word-play games focused on word usage and comprehension. Over 100,000
 students took part in the 2007-2008 NVC competition, more than triple the
 number of last year's participants. The NVC has also received numerous
 accolades from some of the country's most noted dignitaries including New
 York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Vice President Al Gore. In
 total, it has awarded close to $190,000 in tuition and grant monies.
     Along with the NVC's educational partner The Princeton Review, who
 provided the study materials and testing/game content for the NVC, today's
 event was presented in partnership with Cablevision's Power to Learn,
 Charter Communications, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
     "We'd like to thank everyone involved in this year's NVC, especially
 our affiliate partners, who helped champion this important initiative in
 communities nationwide, and The Princeton Review," commented Dennis
 Gillespie, GSN's Senior Vice President of Distribution. "It's been our
 privilege to see such competitive young minds like those here today
 flourish over the last year and we congratulate Aliya on her fine
     After two intense rounds of competition, Deri sealed her victory in the
 third and final round by correctly identifying "peccadillo" as having come
 from the Latin word for "sin" in the following sentence:
     "Joseph was not perturbed by his pal's peccadillo, but his parents
 apprehended it to be an unambiguous portent of future dereliction."
     The knock-out-style round of vocabulary questions had begun with five
 finalists, of which 17 year-old NVC returnee Matthew Chao (East Brunswick,
 NJ) and 17 year-old Janice Chen (Troy, MI) placed second and third,
 respectively. Craig Watson, Vice President of Communications for Charter
 Communications, Jeff Hirsch, President Metro Division, Time Warner Cable,
 The Princeton Review's Christine Parker, and NVC host Dylan Lane presented
 Deri's trophy and check, crowning her this year's National Vocabulary
     "The Princeton Review wants to congratulate all the students who have
 advanced to the Finals. We are proud to be a part of this event and that
 our study materials have helped them achieve this success," said Rob
 Franek, VP Publishing of The Princeton Review.
     One of the 42 students to earn a spot at the NVC Finals via the
 program's online exam and in-person regional exam, Deri (daughter of Robert
 and Chandan) is no stranger to academic competition. In 2005, she placed
 second at the Scripps National Spelling Bee and placed nationally in a
 variety of other regional, state, and national competitions. An avid reader
 in her free time, Deri also plays the piano, violin, and viola. In
 addition, she competes on her high school's water polo and swim teams.
     "I'm extremely surprised. I honestly didn't think I'd make it this far.
 And then to win," said an exuberant Deri upon her victory. "If anyone wants
 to win this, start reading. Start now; that's how you learn."
     For her victory, Deri will also receive a copy of The American
 Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, a "one year
 supply" of burritos from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Encyclopedia Britannica's
 2008 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD as well as their Concise Encyclopedia and
 2008 Almanac, $500 in online credit redeemable for merchandise at
 and a new Sony Vaio(R) SZ Series Notebook.
     As today's second-place winner, Chao will receive $2,500 deposited into
 a "529" higher education savings plan and $2,500 in study
 materials/services from The Princeton Review. For her third-place finish,
 Chen will be awarded $500 toward her own "529" higher education savings
 plan as well as $500 in study materials/services from The Princeton Review.
     Embraced by students, teachers, higher education officials and
 education groups including the National Education Association, the NVC is
 also supported by sponsors The American Heritage(R) Dictionary, Chipotle,
 Encyclopedia Britannica, Mead, Sony Vaio(R), USA Today and Youth Service
 America. As the 2007-2008 NVC transportation sponsor, JetBlue Airways
 provided roundtrip airfare to and from Los Angeles for the contestants and
 their guests.
     Photos of the 50 NVC finalists, along with more information about the
 National Vocabulary Championship and video of the event, can be found at
     About the "National Vocabulary Championship"
     GSN's National Vocabulary Championship (NVC) is a nationwide academic
 competition that offers high school students the opportunity to win money
 toward college tuition through local and national events. Created by GSN,
 along with educational partner The Princeton Review, the NVC is open to
 eligible high school students in the 50 United States and District of
 Columbia. The NVC is the cornerstone of GSN's award-winning "Win With
 Words" public service campaign dedicated to improving language arts skills
 in high schools by promoting the value of an enhanced vocabulary, providing
 free Princeton Review study materials and engaging students in wordplay.
 For free vocabulary study materials or for more information on GSN's
 National Vocabulary Championship, please visit
     About GSN
     GSN is an industry-leading, game content provider distributing
 competition programming through its 66-million subscriber cable television
 network and its casual and skill-based online games site, As the
 premier television network for games, GSN produces some of the most popular
 original casino and game show series on TV today. features all
 types of game play: FLASH games for fun, skill cash game tournaments and
 free downloadable games. GSN is distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada
 by all major cable operators, satellite providers and telcos. The company
 is jointly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media
 Corporation. For further information, visit GSN's press website at
     About The Princeton Review
     The Princeton Review is a pioneer in the world of education. Founded in
 1981 and headquartered in New York City, the Company offers private
 tutoring and classroom and online test preparation to help students improve
 their scores in college and graduate school admissions tests. The Company's
 free website,, helps over half of
 university-bound students research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to
 pay for their higher education, and helps hundreds of colleges and
 universities streamline their admissions and recruiting activities. In
 addition, The Princeton Review works with school districts around the U.S.
 to measurably strengthen students' academic skills by connecting ongoing
 assessment with professional development and instruction and by providing
 districts with college and career resources for both students and guidance
 counselors. The Company also authors more than 200 print and software
 titles on test preparation, college and graduate school selection and
 admissions, and related topics.