Kerry-Ann Hepburn, Children's Own Coordinator
The first week of The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee came to a close last Friday at the Bethel United Church, but not before deciding the champion for St Andrew. A normally large affair, this year saw a smaller turnout, but the calibre of spellers remained the same.
Without a champion to defend, it was anybody's title to take, and the spellers were up for the challenge. Last year's parish champion for Hanover, Joanna Turner, now representing Campion College, as well as a few familiar faces, lined up hoping to capture the title.
Ardenne on top
The first few rounds of the spelldown determined who the biggest contenders were, and not long after, it was clear who would be in it for the long haul. The top three were decided, and for a while they played hardball. Ten unseen words and one misspell later and the final two, Joshua Grant of Ardenne Prep and Adjaynae Billings of Ardenne High, stood side by side.
Words thrown back and forth, each competitor a strong candidate, but the trophy was meant to be hoisted by one, and that one would be Joshua Grant.
"I came third last year, and the year before and this year I said I want to win, and I am glad I did," beamed the champion.
It seemed he wasn't the only one who was glad. His coach, the Reverend Glen Archer, proudly said, "I am happy for him; he was always being stymied and I'm glad that he has come through."
It was congratulations all around, and especially high praises to Archer, who coached the top five.
1. Joshua Grant, Ardenne Prep
2. Adjaynae Billings, Ardenne High
3. Joanna Turner, Campion College
4. Sara-Beth McPherson, Holy Childhood High
5. Antonia Shirley, Ardenne Prep
Joanna Turner, Campion College