Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Spelling Bee | A rewarding sacrifice for Ashleigh

Published:Tuesday | October 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Ashleigh Jarrett, Spelling Bee champion for Kingston.
Roder Allen, team leader of the Spelling Bee programme hugs Ashleigh Jarrett, Spelling Bee champion for Kingston.
Ashleigh Jarrett, Spelling Bee champion for Kingston.
Justice of the Peace Rion Hall presents Ashleigh Jarrett, Spelling Bee champion for Kingston with her trophy.
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Top Bees

1. Ashleigh Jarrett, Wolmer's Preparatory

2. Ashlie Shepherd, Vaz Preparatory

3. Rojay Banton, Kingston College

4. Danielle Silvera, Windward Road Primary and Junior High

5. Jante Neil, Jessie Ripoll Primary

Top boy: Rojay Banton, Kingston College

Top girl: Ashleigh Jarrett, Wolmer's Preparatory

Winning word: S-C-U-T-T-L-E-D

Coach: Bee Spellers Programme

Number of spellers: 14

About the champ

This is not Ashleigh Jarrett's first time competing at this level, but it is her first win. The 10-year-old started studying for the competition in July, but said that looking back, she doesn't mind.

"It's all worth it now. I don't mind sacrificing, as long as I get my reward," she shared.

She said the upcoming Grade Six Achievement Test and studying for the national finals will be a balancing act, but she will find a way.

Ashleigh loves to read. Her favourite books are from the Nancy Drew series. In fact, her personal library boasts around 40 of them. She likes to swim, and is a part of Brownies, and speech and Drama clubs. Ashley is on the debate team and also plays the violin, on which she is versed on 10 songs.

Ashleigh on winning

"Oh, my gosh! I can't even use words; I'm so happy and excited. I'm honestly grateful to God, because my family was praying a lot and I'm just happy and my parents are super proud."

Team leader Roger Allen on winning

"Winning is not about how I feel, it is a programme, and we employ the African saying, 'It takes a village to raise a child.

Hanif Brown had started working with her and the team continued. We are happy in terms of how the children are responding. We are nurturing the spellers."

Roger on preparing Ashleigh for the finals

"We have the experience on our side, she has good resource persons in Chauntae and Assana and others who drop in, so she will be well supported.

Andrea Jarrett (mother)

"First, I must say I am thankful to the Lord, because it was a really rough journey. God has been good. All the sacrifices we've made have paid off."