Joshua Dilbert captures spelling bee title

With a trophy in one hand and a backpack full of goodies, Joshua Dilbert walked off the stage at the Mary Miller Hall last month as the winner of the Royal Bank of Canada Primary School Spelling Bee.

It was not an easy task for the 10-year-old winner, however, as he and Ashley Osbourne from St. Ignatius faced a ‘spell-off,’ with a tie of 19 points each.

Joshua Dilbert

Joshua Dilbert walks off the stage with his awards. Photo: Submitted

Joshua took the top prize after spelling ‘aggression’ correctly. Dushun Wilson (George Town) came in third.

Creek and Spot Bay Primary was first overall among all competing schools, for the second consecutive year, with 69 points. John A. Cumber was second with 53; George Town Primary was third with 52; and St. Ignatius was fourth with 50.

The Royal Bank of Canada Spelling Bee finals came after four preliminary rounds involving 15 schools. Eleven of the 15 primary schools were represented at the finals.

Education Officer for Language Arts Gloria Pollard, who helped to organise the event, said that the top three spellers in each of four divisions are selected to compete in the finals. To select this year’s finalists, the intensive competition demanded that participants vied for top place in four rounds in each event. Finalists then went on to a further five rounds to earn the top prize.

‘This was one of the most competitive years we have seen. Three of the four preliminary rounds resulted in spell-offs, making that phase and the finals even more competitive,’ she said.

Ms Pollard said that the content of the Spelling Bee is based on language arts curricula, and that those pupils who show an interest in these competitions in the first year of primary school usually continue to participate throughout their school career.

Each participant received a game of Scrabble, a dictionary and a trophy. The top prize, courtesy of RBC, was a fully loaded laptop.

Minister of Education Alden McLaughlin thanked Royal Bank of Canada for sponsoring the Spelling Bee, a contribution they have been making since 1998.

‘Companies such as RBC are what we refer to as good corporate citizens. I would like to thank the bank for their contributions to the education service, through their generous sponsorship of this event for the last seven years,’ he said.

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