24 to contest for national spelling title

13 representatives from New Providence and 11 from the Family Islands

With the end of the era of four-time National Spelling Bee champion Roy Seligman’s stranglehold on the title, due to having aged out, top spellers from around the country can breathe a sigh of relief. Each person in this year’s competition knows that they stand a chance of claiming the title, and the opportunity to earn the right to represent The Bahamas at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The 26th Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee Final Competition is scheduled for March 19 at the Breezes resort in Cable Beach at 3 p.m.

The Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) will be represented by three students – Arianna Miller, 12, a seventh-grade student at Queen’s College and her schoolmate Vanya Sharma, 10, a fifth-grade student; as well as Maria Sanchez, 14, an eighth-grade student at St. Andrew’s International School.

Ayana Smith, 12, an eighth-grade student at Patrick J. Bethel High School, is the Abaco district representative.

Malik Forbes, 10, a sixth-grade student at Reverend Euthal Rodgers Primary, and Domonick Delancey, nine, a fifth-grade student at Rozelda M. Woodside Primary, are the Andros and The Berry Island district representatives.

Raeja Ingraham, 11, a sixth-grade student at Hugh W. Campbell, and Ginica Louis, 13, an eighth-grade student at Sister Mary Patricia Russell, represent the Grand Bahama district.

Wes Underwood, 13, an eighth-grade student at Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School, and Sy’Rai McHardy, 12, a seventh-grade student at North Eleuthera High School, represent the Eleuthera district.

Cheston Taylor, 12, an eighth-grade student at St. Andrew’s Anglican School, represents the Exuma district.

Shontae Jasmin, 13, a student at Mayaguana Comprehensive School, represents the Mayaguana district.

Jordan Dittmar, 11, a sixth-grade student at Simms Primary, represents the Long Island district.

Tiano Moss, 12, a seventh-grade student at Arthur’s Town Comprehensive, represents the Cat Island district.

Ty Williams, 11, and Chaswell Hanna, 11, both sixth-grade students at Genesis Academy, represent the Associate Schools.

The Catholic Schools will see representation this year by Michaela Jules, 10, a fifth-grade student at St. Cecilia’s School, and TreyVaun Kerr, 10, a fifth-grade student at St. Thomas More.

Tiger McKenzie, 10, a sixth-grade student at Claridge Primary, and Issabella Pierre, 10, a fifth-grade student at Palmdale Primary, represent the Eastern New Providence Primary district.

Jessica Altme, 14, an eighth-grade student at T.A. Thompson Junior High School, represents the Northern New Providence Secondary district.

Lerissa Brown, 12, an eighth-grade student at S.C. McPherson Junior High School, represents the Southern New Providence Secondary district.

Kataje White, 10, a student at Stephen Dillet Primary School and his schoolmate Marie Sylvestre, 11, a sixth-grade student, represent the Western New Providence Primary district.

This year’s representatives are aiming for the national win and the opportunity for a run at Scripps at which Roy has set an impressive bar.

The 93rd Scripps competition in 2021 saw Roy as the first Bahamian to advance to the finals of the prestigious competition since The Bahamas began competing at Scripps in 1998.

Roy tied for fourth place with three other spellers. He had previously competed at Scripps in 2019 and tied for 51st place.

His impressive run took place one year after Scripps was canceled in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time the spelling bee had been canceled since 1945.

Scripps’ Bee Week takes place May 28 to June 2 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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