Dangriga Primary School Student Captures 1st Place in National Spelling Bee

The nineteenth National Coca Cola Spelling bee came to an end a short while ago. The new champion primary school speller is Eriean Jang from Sacred Heart RC School. Second place went to Britney Rosalez of Caledonia RC School in the Corozal District. Love FM’s Karen Coote has the details of today’s competition.

KAREN COOTE

“The Coca Cola National Spelling Bee 2013 concluded with a grand finale at the UB Gymnasium in the nation’s capital, Belmopan. Twelve champion spellers, two representing each of the six districts took the stage for the grand finale hoping to be crowned the national champion. From the Belize District, Misty Sanchez from Holy Redeemer Primary, Daniel Mohammed-Ali from Burrell Boom Methodist; the Cayo District was represented by Michael Thompson – Belize Christian Academy and Heidi Morcia from Los Tambos Government; the Corozal district was represented by Britney Rosales from Caledonia RC and Enrique Castillo, St. Paul’s Anglican; Margaret Diego from San Estevan RC and Isidro Chan from San Pablo Community represented the Orange Walk District; Eriean Jang of Sacred Heart RC and Sara Ramirez from Valley Baptist were representative from the Stann Creek District and Toledo District was represented by Laurie Williams from Mafredi Methodist and Hilda Saki from St. Benedict RC School.

During the opening ceremony of this year’s event the invocation was delivered by Fem Cruz; opening remarks were delivered by District Education Manager, Luis Carballo; President and CEO of Bowen and Bowen, Michael H.M Bowen welcomed everyone to the grand finale. The champion spellers were escorted on stage by members of Belize’s National Football Jaguars Team. Formalities completed, it was time to spell again. After two rounds of spelling, eleven of the twelve spellers moved on to the reserve or third round with the perfect scores of thirty points.

In the reserve round, Britney Rosalez and Eriean Jang both spelt one of two words given to them correctly; the remaining spellers had a spell-off for third place. Eleven year old, Hilda Saki of St. Benedict RC School in the Toledo District captured the position. After two and a half hour of spelling, eleven year old, Eriean Jang of Dangriga is the 2013 Spelling Bee champion; Britney Rosalez of Caledonia RC of Corozal took second place. The first place winner received a trophy, a laptop computer and a four year scholarship, Eriean also won a desktop computer for her school; second place winner got a laptop computer and a book grant for two years; third place winner got a $1,500.00 book grant courtesy Bowen and Bowen Ltd and a one year book grant courtesy the Government of Belize.”

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As we showed you at the top of the news, the PSE results are in, and we got a chance to speak to some of the top performers today. And today was also, the finals for the 2013 Coca Cola National Spelling Bee was held in Belmopan – where we got to see some of the top spellers.

The first and second place winners from each district converged at the UB Gymnasium where they went up against each other for the finals.

After 4 hours of spelling words most of us never heard before, a new winner was declared, when Eriean (pronounced Eri-an) Jang spelt the word "baldachin". Here's how she explained her performance:

Eriean Jang - Winner 2013 National Spelling Bee Finals "It was fun, exciting and great but I was a little stressed out because I had to study a lot."

Daniel Ortiz
"Tell us about qualifying and participating in the finals. How was the first spelling bee for you and having to qualify to get here."

Eriean Jang
"It was very easy but it was like I was climbing a step and some of the times while I was going up I had some troubles."

Daniel Ortiz
"How was it today? Give us an idea of some of the difficulties of the word you had to deal with."

Eriean Jang
"Today was fun again and exciting and it was awesome. Sometimes the words were really tricky and hard when you have to double some letters and some of the different ways to spell it."

Daniel Ortiz
"On the final round - how was it for you when it came down the the reserve. How did you deal with that? I know they don't give you that list because they want to surprise you to see how you respond under pressure."

Eriean Jang
"It was kind of hard a lot but after a while I just started to cool down."

Daniel Ortiz
"How long did it take you to prepare for this? I'm very sure you're exhausted by all the studying of all the words you needed to do."

Eriean Jang
"Every free time that I had I used it to study and sometimes when I was in class they took me out and helped me to study."

Second Place was Britney Rosalez from Caledonia RC School, who was too nervous to speak with us, and Hilda Saki from St. Benedict RC School. Because she won first place, Jang was awarded with a Dell laptop, external speakers, a flash drive, and an HP printer. Her school, Sacred Heart RC, was also awarded a desktop computer and printer.

Channel 7