Adrian Frater, News Editor
The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee Championship for 2013, in association with Jamaica National Building Society, 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.
FOR GRADE-five student Abigail Williams of the New Horizon Preparatory School, in Westmoreland, her success in emerging as the 2012-13 Spelling Bee champion for her home parish is confirmation that hard work is key to success.
"It feels great to be the Spelling Bee champion for Westmoreland," said Abigail, who was initially reluctant to take on the challenge. "It was a lot of hard work, but I am happy that it has paid off for me in the end."
Abigail's mother, Tashua Williams, who had a big hand in convincing her daughter to participate in the Spelling Bee competition and is now revelling in her success, sought to put her daughter's success into context.
"It came at a time when she needed to boost her self-confidence, so I am extremely happy," said Williams. "She is quite a focused child and once she puts her mind to something, I know she will do well."
While she has not given up on her favourite past-time, which entails watching television, using the computer and reading, Abigail still finds time to devote long hours to Spelling Bee preparation under the astute guidance of her coach Adrian McDonald, her mother, her father Robert and her teachers at school, especially her grade-two teacher Sancia McFarlane.
"I spent a lot of time studying the words in the dictionary, the Spelling Bee book and the words in the editorial of The Gleaner," said Abigail. "I think I have achieved a lot for myself, my family and my school and it makes me very happy."
While Abigail does not want to make any projections as it relates to her participation in the finals, her mother is bubbling with confidence and thinks her daughter will make her proud.
"I am very confident that she will do well," said Williams. "She has already made me feel like the best mother in the world by winning the parish title, and, God's willing, I believe she will bring me more joy in the national final.
While Abigail will have to wait another year before she qualifies to sit the Grade Six Achievement Test, she has already selected the Hampton High School for Girls, in St Elizabeth, as the school she wants to attend.
"I would like to attend Hampton High School, because I have heard a lot of good things about that school," said Abigail, whose ultimate aim is to walk into the footstep of her older sister and become a dermatologist.