Gleaner's Spelling Bee | With God everything is possible, says coach
1. Tayshawn Hall, St Mary High School
2. Tianna Fairweather, Clonmel Primary and Junior High School
3. Ricardo-Rae Douglas, Mt Angust Primary and Junior High School
4. Macorey Morrison, Brainerd Primary School
5. Shonoya Gutzmore, Water Valley Primary
Top Boy: Tayshawn Hall, St Mary High School
Top Girl: Tianna Fairweather, Clonmel Primary and Junior High School
Winning word: M-I-L-L-E-N-I-U-M
Coach: Meleithia Lawrence
Number of spellers: 46
Tayshawn on winning
"I feel good!"
Tayshawn is 13 years old and is in grade eight. He enjoys listening to music though he admits that he doesn't have a favourite song. Playing video games is also one of his pastimes, and he is thinking of getting into chess at his school.
Coach on winning
"I am elated! With God, everything is possible, so we put God first in whatever we are doing. We stick to good practices and we came out successful."
Meleithia Lawrence admits that when she thought about entering Tayshawn for St Mary, she considered the fact that the defending champion was also at the same school. But she wanted him to excel.
"I reached out to his parents and they agreed."
The only challenge was that he had to travel for two hours for training, but that did not stop them. They met on the weekends.
Having been his coach in the past, this time around was a breeze. "I didn't have to worry about meeting with him every day. I'd give him the material, and with him being meticulous, he did the work."
His father, Howard Hall, on the win:
"It has been a journey. He took on the challenge over the summer when most of his friends were hanging out, and it paid off."
Hall was Top Boy for St Ann in 2016 when he attended Tomlinson Christian Academy.