Adrian Frater, News Editor
AFTER TWO previous unsuccessful attempts, Westwood High School first-form student Lariecia Harvey, who has been the Spelling Bee champion for Trelawny for the last three years, is hoping that 2013 will be her year to shine in the National Spelling Bee final.
"I know what it is like to be in a National Spelling Bee final, so I am looking forward to it with much confidence," said Lariecia, who finished eighth in last year's final. "I am putting in a lot of preparation as I want to take home the title this year."
Lariecia justified her being the favourite and confirmed herself as the best speller last September when she regained the Trelawny title, a factor that has given her a great deal of confidence going into the national final.
"I was the favourite for the parish final as everybody was saying that I was going to win," said Lariecia. "I was very confident, knowing that I had done it before."
While she is highly motivated and does a lot of practice on her own, especially studying words from the Spelling Bee books, the dictionary and the editorial pages in The Gleaner, Lariecia is happy with the support she has been getting from Hillary Walker, her coach who teaches at Westwood, and her parents.
Lariecia's father, Lawrence Harvey, is firmly in his daughter's corner and is bubbling with confidence as he believes that the third time in the final will be the charm for his confident daughter.
"I feel happy and proud," said the elated dad. "Winning the Trelawny title three years in a row is something to be proud of. I am looking for at least a top-seven finish in the national final. However, my ultimate hope is that she will emerge as the champion."
According to Harvey, Lariecia is bright and motivated, so she is doing a lot of the preparatory work for the national final as she utilises her experience from previous appearances.
The meticulous Lariecia, who wants to become a cardiologist, hardly watches television these days and has very little time for any extra-curricular activities as, according to her, preparation for the Spelling Bee final takes pride of place.
"I do spend a lot of time on the computer because that is also a part of my preparation; however, I really have no time for television and other things like that. After the final, I guess I will have time to do other things," said Lariecia.