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45 MILESTONES: 1998 - Jody-Anne won Scripps Howard Spelling Bee competition
published: Thursday | July 26, 2007


Scripps Howard Spelling Bee Champion Jody-Anne Maxwell and coach, Rev. Glen Archer, on their arrival in Jamaica after competing in the American National Spelling Bee Competition. Maxwell made history as the first non-American to win the prestigious competition. - file

1962-2007: 45 years of nationhood

Every day until August 6, The Gleaner looks back at significant milestones that have helped shape the nation. Don't miss this nostalgic journey.

The Gleaner/Children's Own Spelling Bee champion, 12-year-old Jody-Anne Maxwell, was victorious in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee competition in Washington, D.C., becoming the first person outside of the United States to win the coveted championship. It was the second year that Jamaica entered the competition.

She was one of three Jamaican contestants at the Scripps Howard competition, including Westwood High School's Bettina McLean, and Montego Bay High School's Haydee Lindo. Bettina made it to the seventh of the 11 rounds, finishing in the top 10.

Jody-Anne clinched the title in the 71-year-old competition with the word 'chiaroscurist', an artist who works with the arrangement of light and dark parts in a pictorial work.

She survived the two-day finals competition by carefully breaking down each word, often asking for a word's pronunciation many times and spending minutes in thought with her head down before slowly spelling the word.

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