Sun | Dec 5, 2021

How Jamaica spells success at Scripps

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2015 | 12:00 AMSherine Williams, Engagement Coordinator
A proud Tajaun Gibbison (right, foreground) on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport last on June 2, 2014. Others in the picture are (from left) the Rev Glen Archer, Tajaun's coach; Nordia Craig, The Gleaner's manager, business development and marketing; and Yvonne Gibbison, Tajaun's mother.

Since 1997 when Jamaica began entering the Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition in the United States, our spellers have been turning in creditable performances, ending in the top 10 on several occasions.

The stellar moment, however, was in 1998, when 11-year-old Jodi-Anne Maxwell of Ardenne High School was placed first.

She was coached by the late Reverend Glen Archer had been the coach of 18 of Jamaica's 19 spellers including this year's entrant, Sara-Beth McPherson.

See full list of Jamaica's spellers at Scripps over the years:

1997: Jason Andrew James - 8th
          Chanoya Kidd   - Eliminated before final round
1998: Jodi-Anne Maxwell - 1st
          Bettina McLean - 6th
1999: (Jamaica was disqualified – New rule imposed: Speller eligible for the competition had to win a qualifying regional or local contest held no earlier than February 1.
2000: Rhea Brathwaite - 65th
2001: Daniel Thomas - 34th
2002: Alicia Forrest - 26th
2003: Trudy-Anne McCleary - 3rd
2004: Cornel Grey - Eliminated in Round Three
2005: Stacy-Ann Pearson - 15th
2006: Rosanna Pike - Eliminated in Round Four
2007 Regina Bish - 16th
2008: Sade Dunbar - 13th
2009: Shari-Jo Miller - Eliminated in the semi-finals
2011: Hanif Brown – Eliminated in the semi-finals
2012: Gifton Wright - 4th
2013: Christian Allen - Eliminated preliminary round
2014: Tajuan Gibson - 10th