Adrian Frater, News Editor
The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee Championship for 2013 will be held on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, starting at 9 a.m. Below are features on two of the parish champions.
ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD JOSHUA Rowe of Hosanna Preparatory School, St James, sees emerging as the 2012/13 Spelling Bee champion for his home parish as the start of his journey to emulate his 18-year-old sister, who is now studying medicine at the University of the West Indies.
"It was kind of nerve-wracking," recalled Joshua, in reflecting on his Spelling Bee experience at the parish level. "It is not always easy to remember the difficult words, but I prepared myself well and I am happy that I did well," Joshua told The Gleaner.
While seemingly conservative in his expectations going on to the National Spelling Bee finals, the unassuming Joshua, who described his chances as "medium", has a very big believer in his mother Michelle Johnson, the group sales manager at Secrets Resort, in Montego Bay.
"He is quite a studies person and he is motivated by the success of his sister," said Johnson. "I know he will be going up against high-school students, but I am very confident that he will do well."
While he has an excellent coach in Donald McPherson and also benefits from the input of his class teacher Tasha Lynch and his doting mother, Joshua is also self-motivated and is constantly challenging himself with words from a variety of sources, including the Guinness Book of Records.
"I spent a lot of time on the computer reading and learning new things," said Joshua, who will also be sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) this year. "I know it takes hard work to be successful, and I am prepared to put in the hard work."
While his Spelling Bee preparation is now at the forefront of his daily activities, Joshua is also focused on his GSAT preparation as he is hoping to secure the grades to get him into the high school of his choice, Herbert Morrison High School.
As he continues to bask in the satisfaction of being the St James Spelling Bee champion, young Joshua is particularly pleased by the fact that he has managed to make his school proud.
"I am happy that I was able to do so well for my school. Everybody is happy with my success," noted Joshua. "I hope I will make them happy when I go to the national finals."