Spelling Bee Champion
Fourteen nervous students faced the spell masters yesterday for the finals of the Gleaner‘s Children’s Own Spelling Bee.
After a grueling morning session, which saw a total of 13 misspelled words from a total of 140 words, she was one of the seven finalists who advanced to the final spelldown in the afternoon.
It was here that the competition became intense as the bees took their time to pronounce the difficult words they were asked to spell.
The Clarendon and St Thomas parish finalists were the first to be eliminated as they used up all the chances for misspelled words allotted to them.
The run-off to the final two bees followed quickly after. Chaunte faced Assana Thompson of Wolmer’s Prep in an exciting showdown.
The fact that both girls share the same coach in the person of Hanif Brown made for an entertaining spell off.
Chaunte’s first misspelled word was p-t-e-r-i-d-o-l-o-g-y and the tension began to build, but, when both girls misspelled the word a-p-h-e-r-e-s-i-s, the playing field was leveled and the clock reset on another set of words to be divided between them.
P-s-e-u-d-e-p-i-g-r-a-p-h-a was the word that gave Chaunte the edge over Assana, who was unable to spell it correctly.
Having spelt the championship word, a-r-r-o-y-o, with ease, Chaunte embraced her training mate. Brown, their coach, joined them on stage to share what was no doubt a proud moment for him.
For Chaunte, this is a sweet victory as she has been a finalist in the competition twice before.
“I am elated. The feeling is just surreal,” she told The Gleaner.