A group of 12 primary school students competed in the finals of the National Spelling Bee Competition and each child emerged as a winner.
Mary Miller Hall was crowded with the family members and friends of the competing students, as well as special guests like Minister for Education Alden McLaughlin and Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler.
The competition was judged by Herbert Crawford, Kate Marnoch and Cecil Chan-a-Sue.
Marcia Muttoo joined the competition once again as spell master, Delores Thompson as the time keeper, and Jasmin Manoosingh as the master of ceremonies.
Before the spelling bee began Tuesday evening, Raiann Evans demonstrated her musical talent by singing the National Song.
Though the students were faced with many challenging words throughout the spelling competition, including ‘lugubrious’ and ‘absquatulate’, four children tied for first place, second place found a clear winner, and third place saw three more students tied with identical scores.
Anitha Velusamy, Aliyah Linwood, Laura Hynd, and Nayo Swan all received perfect scores in the competition, while David Forbes received second place, and Sabrina Silva, Mariah Webb and Joshua Thompson tied for third place.
The students all received a standing ovation from the audience for their effort and unprecedented success.
‘I can’t remember another year where we had four students tied for first with perfect scores,’ said Mr. Crawford.
Mr. McLaughlin also commended students:
‘I don’t think I have ever attended a spelling bee where the competition has been so keen and where our competitors have done so very, very well,’ he said.
Mrs. Wahler congratulated all the students for their achievements and their brave participation.
‘I think we should take the opportunity tonight to celebrate the victories of these students, all of these students, because it is a triumph and a victory just to have the courage to get up on stage and participate in a competition of this sort,’ she said.
‘We spend a lot of time talking about raising standards and … I just want to take the opportunity to say that this is what raising standards looks like.’
No one was quite sure how the grand prize of a laptop was going to be divided amongst the first place winners until the representative for Royal Bank of Canada, Mitzie Bailey, promised that RBC would donate three additional computers.
‘I think that we made the right decision in honouring them all,’ said Ms Bailey, who handed out a trophy to each student with the help of Jill Howse, another RBC representative.
Each student who participated made their parents, their teachers and their peers very proud.
Creek & Spot Bay Primary – Anitha Velusamy, Nayo Swan and Martha Rivers
Montessori By The Sea – Sabrina Silva
Savannah Primary – David Forbes and Andrew McLaughlin
Cayman Academy – Mariah Webb
Prospect Primary – Joshua Thompson and Raiann Evans
John A. Cumber Primary – Aliyah Linwood
George Town Primary – Ashley Jacaban
Grace Christian Academy – Laura Hynd