Cayman crowns its best young spellers

Jemma Watson, champion of the secondary school spelling bee, receives a trophy from Stephen Best, president of the Lions Club.

Cayla Ebanks and Jemma Watson have emerged as Cayman’s best young spellers.

Cayla, who attends Bodden Town Primary School, and Jemma, who attends John Gray High School, were crowned the best primary and secondary school spellers last week at the RBC Royal Bank Primary Spelling Bee and the Lions Club of Grand Cayman Secondary Spelling Bee.

Thirty-four primary school students contested the former competition, which is in its 21st year of existence, and 12 secondary students competed in the 35th annual Lions Club spelling bee.

The competitions were supported by the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services, and they featured competitors from both government and private schools on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, the Minister for Education, issued a statement about the event.

“As a former educator myself, I understand the correlation between spelling and increased reading ability, so I am very proud of these students for taking on the challenge of expanding their reading and spelling knowledge in order to participate in these spelling bees,” said Ms. O’Connor-Connolly. “Thank you to both RBC Royal Bank and the Lions Club of Grand Cayman for their ongoing commitment to the literary development of our students. We appreciate the many years of support they have given.”

“Portative” was the final word spelled for Cayla in the primary spelling bee.

Cayla Ebanks outlasted all the other competitors in the primary school spelling bee.

“Education is paramount for the growth and development of every nation and RBC is pleased to continue this partnership with the Cayman Islands Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services,” said Mitzie Bailey, team manager for RBC Service Delivery – Cayman. “We congratulate Cayla on her win and wish her and all her fellow participants continued academic success.”

“Nigrescence” was the final word spelled by Jemma in her winning effort.

“The Lions Club of Grand Cayman is proud to partner with the Department of Education Services each year to host the annual Secondary Spelling Bee,” said Stephen Best, president of the Lions Club. “Spelling Bees are more than just words; they are a test in discipline and hard work. We are so proud of Jemma, who started in the Primary Bee, was runner-up in last year’s Secondary Bee and has persevered to take the title this year. Congratulations to her and all the competitors.”

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now