The buzz about who won the Coca Cola Spelling Bee!
The National Spelling Bee finals took place this morning in Spanish Lookout. It was a nail biting experience for the twelve participants, but in the end a student from Toledo spelled his way through to the championship with a word he recognized, but many may not know what it means. Primary school students from the Stann Creek and Cayo Districts also placed among the top three. News Five’s Andrea Polanco captured the determining moments of this year’s competition.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
Eleven year old Dane Guy spelled his way to the National Spelling Bee Championship title in the reserve round. The Standard five student of St. Benedict R.C took home the title for the first time ever to the Toledo District. In 2011, Dane made it to the finals but he didn’t get the first place; today he says he came prepared with a strategy and beat out eleven other spellers from across the country.
Dane Guy, 1st Place, National Coca-Cola Spelling Bee
“I’m feeling splendid. I love competition and everything that has to do with competition.”
“So you’ve been here last year; you went back and how did you prepare for this year?”
“I just worked harder.”
“Okay, so who worked with you in terms of studying?”
“My mom, my teachers and the school.”
“Did you expect to win today?”
“When I spelled the reserve words, I said I would win.”
“But you spelled those words so easily; did you come across those words when you were studying?”
“Well I just analyzed some words like beryllium and eurotrophic.”
“So when you got the words, you figured ‘what I got dis?’”
Glendora Guy, Dane Guy’s Mother
“Words cannot express how I feel; I feel very elated; I feel very happy and proud of my son. Well first of all, we had to work even during holidays and he had very limited time to play and he studied on his own as well. I think he was self-motivated because he studied a lot on his own too. He wanted to win because he came last year and he said, ‘mom, I don’t care I will win next year,’ and he came with that in mind and so that was what happened.”
Second place went to Karyn Cornejo of Kids First Child Development in Stann Creek. The eleven year old standard six student says preparation for the finals started long ago.
“How did you feel going into the reserve round. What were you thinking at that moment?”
Karyn Cornejo, 2nd Place, National Coca-Cola Spelling Bee
“Completely nervous and I was praying.”
“You got one of the reserve words correct; how did you break that word down in order to spell it?”
“Miss because I have a site that I go on and I get the words from that.”
“Awrite. What was preparation like? How long have you been preparing for the national spelling bee?”
“From the last two spelling bees I have been preparing.”
Woodrow West, Karyn Cornejo’s Step-Dad
“From I know her she was a very smart girl and I just start to push her and with my trophies that I won she always asked me how comes I won those trophies so I told her she can do the same but in school you know because I know she was a smart girl. With the help of her mother, her mom pushes her a lot with school work and gets her around the computer to spell those words that you don’t see in the book so as to be able to spell here; you know.”
David Craig, Sales and Marketing Manager Bowen & Bowen says that the staging of the eighteenth edition of the Spelling Bee is an important tradition that is here to stay:
“We’re really, really proud; really good. We could not have done it of course without the support of the Ministry of Education. They have provided the institutional framework to be able to execute this contest at such a high level for such an incredible long time. You deh say things bruk up dah Belize; Belize bruk up everything? They’re not gonna break up the Coca-Cola Spelling Bee unless we are absolutely sure that there are private organizations that will be willing to take it up at the time. For eighteen years we have been here putting the spotlight on such an important scale for these students. We as employers know that when we get resumes we need to look at the spelling and we can make a decision based on spelling so we want to produce a new group of spellers that can come to us and come work for Bowen and Bowen.”
Samuel Koop of Good Shepherd’s Academy in the Cayo District was third. The top finishers were rewarded with an assortment of prizes, including laptops, educational materials and trophies. The other highlight of the day was an appearance by A-Zee and other entertaining performances. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.
The Louisiana Government School from the Orange Walk District bested Spelling Bee Banner Competition.