Heritage student wins spelling showdown

It was a felicitous evening for high school students who rendezvoused to compete in the Lions Club/British American Insurance Spelling Bee Finals.

Renee Lindo

Spelling bee champion Renee Lindo, centre, with her supportive entourage. Photo: Submitted

While all of the six competitors demonstrated their command of the lexicon, it was Heritage High student Renee Lindo who dazzled the audience and judges by scoring a perfect 20 points, and taking the top place, said a press release.

After a tense spell-off, Cayman Brac High’s Joshua Dilbert took second place with 16 points, followed by Kiah Estwick of Cayman Prep with 14 points. Also competing were Malcolm Hurlston, Stuart Jennings, and Alexandra Franklyn.

These teenagers take words seriously. After many months of quiet preparation and coaching, they demonstrated their skills by spelling dozens of polysyllabic words, occasionally enquiring about their definitions, origins and usage.

The top prize was a new laptop, courtesy of British American Insurance, complete with software from CI Data Systems. Trophies were presented to winners and participants.

Marcia Muttoo was spellmaster for the competition. A large contingent of Lions Club members, led by President Albert Anderson, supported the function, along with British American Insurance representatives, and the students’ relatives, friends, educators and classmates.

This was Renee’s third year of participating in the annual event; she succeeded in gaining the trophy from Cayman Brac High School, which has won the competition for the past two years.

Noting that her win was a team effort, Renee was accompanied to the competitions by an entourage that included her mother Valerie, her coach/teacher Evelyn Linton, and her friends Alexa and Allison.

Education Department officials, who organise the annual spelling bees, thanked the participating schools and congratulated the teenagers who emerged as winners of this literary event.

‘The competition was definitely of a high standard, and schools should work towards encouraging even greater participation of students,’ said Senior Education Officer Herbert Crawford. ‘The whole aim is to help improve students’ capacity to become better spellers.’

Expressing gratitude to the judges, schools and parents, Mr. Crawford noted, ‘A big ‘thank you’ to The Lions’ Club and British American for their continued support of the competition. The schools and the students have benefited tremendously, and we trust this support will continue for a very long time.’

He added that the respective high school leaders and principals have reported an increasing interest in the language arts, with new reading activities such as a school Scrabble club being enjoyed by a large number of students.