Spellers Begin the Battle of the Words

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 17, No. 9            March 1, 2007

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Ryan Walter (l) and Ansley Castillo (r) proudly display their hard-earned trophies after placing first and second place (respectively) in this yearÂ's Spelling Bee.

R yan Walter of Island Academy proved to be the Island’s best speller during the annual battle of the words held this past Friday, February 22nd at the Lions Den. The first round of the 2007 Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee got off to a great start with Ryan besting 14 other students after a total of six rounds. Placing a close second, after a long 11 rounds was Ansley Castillo of Ambergris Caye Elementary School.

    A total of seven (7) schools participated in this contest. The schools and their representatives were Ryan Walter and Storm Lawrence of Island Academy; Ansley Castillo and Maite Forest of Ambergris Caye Elementary; Ismael Kay and Michael Franco from San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS); Jerilee Garcia and Andy Tam from The New Horizon Academy; Chris Nuñez and Mariano Guerrero from Isla Bonita Elementary; Ivanie Chi and Shaquille Rogers from Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School (CCRCS) and Alejandra Bennett and Ahmed Harmouch from St. Peter’s Elementary.

    The Judges for the Spelling Bee were Veli Williams (businesswoman), Laidy Gonzalez (Tropic Air), Ana Guy (Social Security Board); Pronouncer was Tricia Gideon (San Pedro High School); Scorers were Teacher Leni Flores (SPRCS) and CCRCS Principal Enelda Rosado; Timekeeper was Teacher Dora Hob; Zone Leaders were SPRCS Principal Roxani Kay and New Horizons Academy Principal Miguel Hernandez. Representing the Ministry of Education was Education Officer Alex Nuñez.

    A very excited Ryan Walter and Ansley Castillo received their trophies declaring them winners in this very important event. They both now prepare for the second round of eliminations, the District Contests, which will begin in April. There they will face off with other winners from the Belize District to qualify for the final round: The National Finals to be held on June 8th. This preparation will require dedication and a lot of preparation, as they will be going up against all the other districts’ best spellers. The staff of The San Pedro Sun joins the rest of the community in applauding Ryan Walter and Ansley Castillo for a job well done and wishes them the best of luck at the District Contest.

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