Three tie with perfect scores in spelling bee final
Three pupils scored perfect scores
to win joint first place in this year’s primary schools spelling bee final.
Nayil Arana, 11, of St Ignatius
Catholic School, Chayce Jones, 10, of Prospect Primary, and Aaron Fernandes,
10, of George Town Primary School, received the Premier’s Shield for the
National Spelling Bee Primary Competition on Wednesday, 1 December.
The awards were presented by
Captain Eugene Ebanks, standing in for Premier McKeeva Bush, who was off
Second place went to Denzil Boyd,
10, of Prospect Primary School. Third place was awarded to Khajia Campbell, 8,
of Cayman Academy, who faced off for the only spell-off of the evening with
Year 6 student Tiona Miller of North Side Primary School.
School Improvement Officer Herbert
Crawford, who announced the winners, said the standard this year was among the
best he had seen “from the perspective of the number of students getting
perfect scores and getting high marks as well”.
“The words were by no means easy,
they were challenging, but you saw the ease with which some of those words were
spelled,” Mr. Crawford told the large audience at Mary Miller Hall.
First prize was a laptop; a
spell-off for first place was avoided when Minister of Education Rolston Anglin
agreed to provide two more laptops so that each winning boy could have one.
Words the children were challenged
to spell ranged from the political to the religious, with electioneering,
caucus and referendum among them, as well as heaven, Beelzebub, and ecumenical.
Other words that might have flummoxed older spellers were bandeau, catarrh,
haberdashery, oesophagus and zoophyte.
Mr. Crawford said he believed it
was the first time that the winners were all boys, with the trio spelling every
word read to them by spell master Mellony Bryan.
Cayman Brac’s Creek and Primary
School students Amanda Ferguson, Deandra Watson and Serena Nelson picked up the
award for best performing school, a distinction the school has earned several
times over the years. The children and their chaperones were flown to Grand
Cayman on a special flight by Cayman Airways.
The spelling bee final, sponsored
by Royal Bank of Canada and the Department of Education, drew students from
schools throughout Cayman, with the 15 finalists coming from Montessori by the
Sea, Cayman Academy, Creek and Spot Bay, St. Ignatius, Prospect, Red Bay, North
Side, George Town, John A. Cumber, Cayman Prep and Grace Christian primary
Other pupils who took part in the
competition were Kalle Broderick, Destini Bush, Abigail Ebanks, James Priaulx,
Thomas Sperandeo and Zoe Conolly-Basdeo.
Speaking on behalf of the premier,
Captain Eugene said the competitive drive and hard work needed to excel in
spelling bees created the kinds of qualities in young people who would go on to
be leaders of Cayman in the future.
“Young people, if you know how to
spell a word, you are its master… If you have mastered the English language,
there is no limit to what you can do,” he said.