Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
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.
CASTLETON, St Mary:
COACH NARDA Bhulai has every confidence that 2012-2013 St Mary Spelling Bee champion Greig Campbell will do well at the national finals.
So, too, does former coach, acting principal at Castleton Primary and Junior High School, Josephine Lynch.
Both teachers believe that Greig has a special gift for spelling as while he does not perform exceptionally well in other subject areas, when it is time for spelling, he is tops.
Despite this, Greig still has doubts about his ability to win the national title.
But with encouragement from his family, teachers, and classmates, he has been practising well and, according to him, there are no words that have given him problems.
Bhulai said Greig's exceptional spelling skills see him learning to spell more than 70 new words overnight sometimes.
"To me, his spelling ability is like a God-given talent," Bhulai told The Gleaner. "I expect him to do well. I think he's going to surprise many. Because he is somewhat lackadaisical, people don't expect him to do well, but sometimes he pulls a rabbit out of the hat."
Bhulai, who is also the speller's class teacher, said he did not sit the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) this year in order to concentrate on the spelling bee. By next year, his 70s average is expected to improve considerably as he then prepares for GSAT.
Lynch, who coached Greig up to the parish finals, is confident her former student will do well at the national finals.
"To be honest, I think he has a good chance," the acting principal said. "He has a quick memory, but sometimes he gets a bit nervous, but if he can be calm and settled, he can make a good impression. He is the type of student who is determined. He doesn't do all that well in languages, but when it comes to the Spelling Bee, he is always on top. He has that special gift."