Julette Bryan, Gleaner Writer
For the second year, The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee St Thomas champion is Renica Peart from Middleton Primary School.
The 12-year-old was all smiles as she displayed the winning trophy when speaking to The Gleaner recently of her experience.
Renica took home the winning trophy after triumphing over her competitors by spelling the word 'abscess'.
The grade-six student, who lives in the community of Middleton with her grandmother, Rosie Pinnock, said she was excited to have won and everyone was proud of her. Her dad in England, Johnathon Peart, called to congratulate her and to say how proud he was of her. Her mom in Bull Bay, Andrea Crooks, helps her preparation whenever she visits, and big sister, Renae, bought Renica her first cell phone.
"My classmates and my teacher are also very proud of me. They are always encouraging me to study," she said.
"Everyone in Middleton is happy for me. I want to do well to make everyone proud and I hope the other children will also do well," she continued.
Renica, who said she loves KFC, said when she is not studying for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) or for Spelling Bee finals, she likes to read, play with her friends, watch Disney channel or School's Challenge Quiz on TVJ. She said she wants to be a paediatrician and aspires to attend Campion College or Ardenne High in St Andrew in September.
"I love spelling," she declared. Since being in the spelling bee competition, Renica said she does much better at school especially in language arts, as she uses new words when writing.
"Sometimes, I already know the meaning of words my teacher asks us to find in the dictionary," she said.
Her coach and principal, Marcia Beckford, described Renica as being soft-spoken, well-mannered, and reserved, but a focused young woman, who she believes will do well.
Principal Beckford said she was very proud of Renica and was happy that once again the parish champion cup was at Middleton Primary School.
"Middleton has had The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee Parish Campion Cup the most number of years in the parish and we are glad Renica brought it back for us," she said.
Ms Beckford said the Middleton community was very supportive and are usually disappointed if Middleton Primary does not get the trophy.
The school principal takes time out of her busy schedule to train Renica in the evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays.