'I am so proud of myself' - Rhonoya wins in Portland
1. Rhonoya Anderson, Norwich Primary
2. Kiephe Wignal, Boston Primary
3. Vasean Valentine, Buff Bay Primary
4. Daynia Deans, Nonsuch Primary
5. Melicia Parker, Manchioneal All-Age
Top Boy: Kiephe Wignal, Boston Primary
Top Girl: Rhonoya Anderson, Norwich
Winning word: G-R-A-T-I-F-Y-I-N-G-L-Y
Coach: Joy Thompson, grade six teacher.
The nine-year-old is in grade five. She likes to study, but she enjoys playing hopscotch, skipping and she loves to read. She says it was her love for words that led her to want to be a speller. Her favourite book is Good Morning, Gorillas by Mary Pope Osbourne. She is also a member of five clubs at her school - 4-H Club, Brownies, Singing, Speech and Spelling, for which she is the captain. Her career in spelling started when she was in grade two.
She is the middle child of three sisters. Her older sister is ill and in the hospital, and she was worried that she would not be able to come see her spell today. Her sister, though out of hospital, still could not make it to see her spell, so Rhonoya was determined to win for her. Her younger sister is six years old and wants to be a speller, too.
Rhonoya on winning: "I feel elated. I am so proud of myself. I just want to thank my mom, and my grandmother, coach, and my sisters as well, and my dad and friends for supporting me. "
Rhonoya: "I study with Miss Scott. She has helped me along the way and when I am home, my mom would help me study.
"For nationals, I'm going to have to study harder, because I know it's going to be a big competition, and this means a lot to me. The easy part about nationals is that I've been there before, and my experience will make me better."
Joy Thompson, coach: "It was expected. She has been working and working hard and she's a very dedicated and determined student."
For nationals: "The preparation for nationals has to be different because last year we did not win so we haven't change our strategy."
"Rhonoya was devastated last years when she didn't come in the top three, which was her goal, so I know for this year she will be putting out more."
Cisele Holgate-Anderson (mother): "I am elated she won. I was quite nervous at first, but I knew that she would do it because she works very hard. I work with her and I push her. I'm a mother that doesn't give up on my children."