Sweet repeat for Davian
Published: Friday | October 2, 2009
Davian Stewart - Ian Allen/Photographer
It was a long, hot day of spelling in the St Catherine parish finals of the 2009-2010 Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee.
As the sweltering heat descended upon the Spanish Town Methodist Church hall, 62 hopefuls queued up for their chance at being named the parish champ.
But for the second year in a row, Davian Stewart exuded confidence, disarming charm and knowledge of his craft to take the trophy to McAuley Primary.
Seventh in last year's national final, Davian had then emerged the parish's top speller in what was an unexpected victory for most, as his school, McAuley, had never before figured in the competition.
But that was soon to change, and with seeming permanence.
With both hands firmly placed in his pockets and a seemingly permanent smile, Davian endured almost five hours of spelling, the longest so far this year, to take the parish for McAuley. Stephen Nelson, of Marlie Mount Primary and Infant, placed second.
"I am very happy," the soft-spoken champ said.
He went on to state that his coach, Errol Campbell, and family have been instrumental in his success.
Campbell explained that Davian's success was attributable to "strategies put in place at the school" which they use to train spellers who, he added, have always "done well" in the Bee.
Davian is the latest to win in the competition which has so far been dominated by boys. Of the five finals that have already gone, four champions have been male, with St Elizabeth's Lois Robinson of Glen Stuart Primary being the sole female winner.
The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee continues tomorrow with the St Andrew finals at the offices of The Gleaner Company in central Kingston.
Overall winner: Davian Stewart
Champion girl: Brittany Beckford
Number of schools: 35
Number of spellers: 62
Winning school: McAuley Primary
1 Davian Stewart, McAuley Primary
2 Stephen Nelson, Marlie Mount Primary and Infant
3 Brittany Beckford, Portmore Missionary Preparatory
4 Shanoi Henry, Spanish Town Primary
5 Joshua Dillon, Greater Portmore Primary