Student makes it a “perfect” Spelling bee

| 15/02/2009

(CNS): Although only 11-years old student, Venkatta Batta did not drop a single spelling challenge during the high school round of the national spelling bee achieving a perfect score. Venkatta who is from Cayman Brac High school was formerly the primary school champion but having graduated to high school the young wordsmith is back on a wining streak walking away with a laptop, trophy and the 2009 title.

With competition was tough this year the final also came down to a spell-off to break the tie for second and third place. In a tense showdown, and only after correctly spelling the French word bête noire (meaning dark beast), was Moesha Ramsay-Howell of PACE High School named the second-place winner. Joshua Dilbert of Cayman Brac High placed third. Other finalists were Bennard Ebanks, representing Heritage High; Janelle Taylor of New Horizons; and Japhia Augustine of PACE. 

The annual event took place at Mary Miller Memorial Hall on Wednesday, 11 February, and saw students grapple with words such as braggadocio, abiogenesis and triturate. The spelling bee was hosted by the Department of Education Services, in conjunction with the Lions Club of Grand Cayman and British American Insurance – both of which have been sponsors for more than 25 years.

Education Minister Alden McLaughlin, commended the finalists for their composure under extreme stress, and expressed his delight that they are “all my students.”  The six finalists all attend the public school system. Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler said: “A teacher’s greatest joy is watching children grow and develop.” 

The overall high school results, by school, were:

Cayman Brac High – 73 points;

PACE High – 66 points;

New Horizons High – 47 points; and

Heritage High – 42 points.

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  1. Proud Teacher says:

    Cayman Brac also had two of the winners in the Primary Spelling Competition. The teachers, parents and students of the Brac need to be recognized for all of their hard work despite Hurricane Paloma. Good stuff is still coming out from the Brac and will continue to come!