Grace Lutheran captures 2016 Rotaract Spelling Bee title

The Grace Lutheran School has emerged as the winner of the 29th annual Rotaract Spelling Bee Competition targeting Grade Five students.

This is the first time the school, located at Woodlands in St. George’s, participated in the competition and was able to capture the 2016 title through the hard work and outstanding performance of 10-year-old Zafirah Bain.

“I feel really excited and happy because this is my first time doing it. I was stressed out a bit…I was a little scared and nervous but I got over it, I came here and I won the spelling bee,” Zafirah told THE NEW TODAY in an interview at the end of the competition last week Saturday.

 The eleven Rotaract Spelling Bee finalists after receiving gifts for participating in the competition

The eleven Rotaract Spelling Bee finalists after receiving gifts for participating in the competition

The final round of the 29th annual Rotaract Spelling Bee challenge was held last week Saturday at the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) in Tanteen, St. George.

The eleven finalists took to the stage of the GBSS auditorium to compete to become the 2016 Spelling Bee champion.

However, it was Zafirah who spelled the most words correctly.

Zafirah was the recipient of EC$1, 000.00 education saving plan compliments Sagicor, a first place trophy compliments George F. Huggins and Co. Grenada Ltd, an Alcatel tablet and 3 months free broadband service courtesy LIME, EC$ 150. 00 in stationery items from Bryden & Minors, other stationery items compliments Netherlands Insurance.

Her school also received EC$1000. 00 for her effort.

The Grace Lutheran School was also the recipient of the Rotaract Spelling Bee Champions Trophy, which it would hold in its possession for 1-year.

The 2016 Rotaract Spelling Bee Champion Zafirah Bain receives certificate from Rotaract President, Diyanna Gulston

The 2016 Rotaract Spelling Bee Champion Zafirah Bain receives certificate from Rotaract President, Diyanna Gulston

Commenting on Zafirah’s performance the Club’s Public Relations Officer, Zoe Hagley said, “The fact this is the first time the school has participated and placed first shows great potential in the Grace Lutheran School and the students.”

“I was watching her (Zafirah from the prelims and she was able to handle some very difficult words very easily and I think that shows that she is a very bright student”, Hagley remarked.
One of Zafirah’s grade five teachers, Kemisha Andrew-John, described her as an “excellent student.”

“I am not surprised that she has won today…she is a perfectionist,” the teacher said proudly, giving credit to Zafirah’s parents who she noted, “were major instruments in this (endeavour).

Principal of the Grace Lutheran School, Jenelle Bullen described the moment as  a significant accomplishment for Zafirah.

“Is a big accomplishment for her,” the school principal said, adding,  “Of course we feel proud of her but really it’s about her. It means a lot for Zafirah and how she feels and what she’s accomplished.”

The Principal stressed that the school aims to be “student-centered,” adding, “it’s about (the) work she put into it and how we communicated with her parents and tried to make the home/school connection in this huge endeavour.”

She noted that Zafirah, as well as her family and teachers had put in a lot of effort into this first time endeavour for the school.

Three students tied for 2nd 3rd and 4th positions. Kayla Mitchell of the Grenada Junior Academy came 2nd through the knockout round, followed by Dennison Augustine of the Uganda Martyrs School in 3rd and Tyler Telesford of Constantine Methodist in 4th.

The 2nd place winner received EC$750.00 education savings plan and a second place trophy compliments Sagicor, 3 months free broadband compliments LIME, an education pack and EC$750.00 towards the school.

The 3rd place winner received an EC$500.00 education savings plan and a third place trophy compliments Sagicor, an education pack and EC$500.00 towards the school.

Unfortunately, Mikayla McNeil of the Hillsborough Government School could not continue and according to the Club’s PRO, “had to drop out in the finals because nerves got the best of her.”

“Usually, we do see children who are nervous and uneasy and I mean that’s understandable,” Hagley commented, noting that “public speaking is always difficult (and) to have students 9 and 10 (years old) who have to stand in front of an audience and spell that’s even going to be more nerve wrecking.”

“She was actually doing very, very well,” Hagley added, expressing “hope that next year a representative from Hillsborough would be able to continue.”

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