Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer
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.
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
CLARENDON SPELLING Bee champion Stephen Nelson has his mind set on one major accomplishment - to walk away with the 2013 Gleaner's Children's Own National Spelling Bee title.
The Glenmuir High School second-form student said he has been practising four times per week for the national finals since last October, and his preparation will be intensified in the days leading up to the championship.
"My mind is set on winning this year's championship; after all the hard work, I want to win. We have been training from October, four days per week with my coach, Rev Glen Archer," said a confident Nelson.
He added: "I travel from May Pen to Kingston Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for a three-hour practising session, and on Saturdays I log another four hours with Reverend."
Nelson is confident that he can win the title because of the support he gets from his coach, school, his mother and two other former National Spelling Bee champions.
"My coach has one of the most enviable track records in spelling championships. He has won 23 times out of 26 attempts, and there is Gifton Wright and Hanif Brown, two past nationals champions, helping us," he asserted.
The Marlie Mount Primary School past student said he was introduced to Spelling Bee by his mother Flo Nelson, a teacher at his alma mater, and after trying four times, he won in 2012, and will challenge 13 other parish champions in February for the coveted title.
Renée Mair, a senior teacher at Glenmuir High School, said the entire school is behind Stephen and has so far given the speller the option to sit his examination after the competition has ended.
"Stephen winning the championship will be a first for Glenmuir and will put the icing on an already well-iced cake, after our daCosta Cup triumph and placing third behind Immaculate and Campion in the CSEC examination, which has been an overall excellent year for us," said Mair.
Nelson's mother had high praise for her son and expressed confidence that he will do well in next month's finals.
"He has made a lot of sacrifices, financially and otherwise, so I want him to win. He even takes the laptop into the bathroom with him to practise ,and based on his coach's reports, he will do well," she said.