How well can you spell? We got a look at the top eighteen Belize District spellers who gathered at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium this afternoon. At the end of the third round in the reserve list, Jaren Young of St John Vianney R.C. spelled his way to first place with the words: ‘eidetic’ and ‘trachyte’. Justin Milligan of Pan Cotto Primary in Sandhill took second place with the word ‘chrysalis’. They will move on to compete against the other district representatives in the “National Coca Cola Spelling Bee” competition on June third. David Craig, Sales and Marketing Manager of Bowen and Bowen Ltd., told us that year after year the Belize District Finals always proves to be interesting.
David Craig, Sales and Marketing Manager, Bowen and Bowen Ltd.
“It’s a wonderful contest here today, usually Belize City is the power house because it has the most schools it really fields a lot of good spellers. There are also many private schools here and they tend to work a little extra with their spellers but you just never know with this contest because you have kids represented here from schools that only have two or three dozen kids in them so you never know what to expect. Belize District is always very strong.”
“So I know here today they are going into the reserve round. What can we expect, what strategies can these students use to make it past that round?”
“That’s a very good question. We try to make it more accommodating to the kids every year. Right now we have introduced a writing pad and a paper so they can visually write down the words. It also helps us if there’s any protest or anything, if the kid has the word written, then we know right away he has spelled it correctly. We also have the head set, we put the headset on the kids so that they can hear the words right into their ears because sometimes the acoustics change from venue to venue. We have excellent judges and the pronouncer is very well trained.”
“So you’re going into the reserve round. Do you think you can spell all those words today?”
Raymelinda Perez, Lucky Strike Government School
“I have high hopes that the same way I did it in Maskall is the same way I can do it here. I know I can make it because God says to trust him and everything will go right.”
Brandon Usher, Hummingbird Elementary School
“Actually yes, because I’ve been studying very hard and long the whole time that I was waiting. I’m trying to plan ahead and make it to the National Spelling Bee.”
“How did you prepare for this competition today?”
“My teachers helped me every afternoon or every morning my friends also help me. We also looked in the dictionaries to find new words.”
“Yes, I’ve been studying the origins of different words and I’m gonna use that to my advantage.”
“At the Nationals, a highly anticipated competition in Belize, what can we expect, anything new this year?”
“Yeah we have a really big surprise. Maybe I shouldn’t say it but I will anyway. We have contacted the Arenal Stilt Walkers and it’s a treat to see those, that’s for the entertainment part of it. Again for the National, we have three new word lists. It’s gonna be at Spanish Look Out in one of the most amazing auditoriums in the country, huge, breezy, right by the lake and it’s gonna be really, really nice.”
The alternate Speller for the district is Felecia Quan of Belize Elementary. The winners took home dictionaries, and trophies among other prizes. Celebrated under the theme “Spell, Read, Learn… Live Positively”, the final leg of the district finals for the Cayo District will kick off at the Country Side Park at one-thirty p.m. on Thursday.