Kerry-Ann Hepburn, Gleaner Writer
Montego Bay, St James:
It was the 'rhythmic speller' Joshua Rowe of Hosanna Prep - dubbed so by the Bee team - who stole the show at the 12th spelldown of the 53rd staging of The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee last Thursday evening at Burchell Memorial Baptist Church in St James.
Fifty-seven students lined up for the chance to nab the title of parish champion for St James.
A packed church hall would see the first round losing four spellers and the competition would follow in the same suit as it progressed. Joshua and Je-Vaun Cameron of Barracks Road Primary proved to be the strongest contenders. Four rounds of championship words and misspellings had everyone holding their breaths. But it was Joshua, though obviously tired at the end, who made off with the title and the championship trophy with the word B-E-S-O-T-T-E-D.
"It was nerve-racking standing in line because I was scared I was going to get some words wrong," Joshua said when The Gleaner asked about his experience waiting to spell.
His mom, Michelle, said she was thrilled though she had some concerns at the beginning. "I wanted to pull Joshua from the competition, because it's his GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test) year and I wanted him to focus on that. But his teacher reassured me that spelling would help him in his comprehension."
As for his victory, she said: "I saw that he was tired, but I was willing him to continue and I am happy that he won."
The national championship is scheduled for February 2013.
Joshua Rowe - Hosanna Prep
Je-Vaun Cameron - Barracks Road Primary
Georgina Richards - Supreme Prep
Zidane Richards - Supreme Prep
Mark Brown - Chetwood Memorial Primary