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Tsuwana Augustine and Haley Christian Named Top Spellers

Education 04 Dec, 2023 Follow News

(l-r) RBC Royal Bank AVP Country Manager Ericka Rolle, David Williams, Cathy Vinothkumar and Savannah Dewar, third place in the 2023 RBC Royal Bank Primary National Spelling Bee and DES Director Mr. Mark Ray.

(l-r) RBC Royal Bank AVP Country Manager Ericka Rolle, Nandhini Rajesh, second place in the 2023 RBC Royal Bank Primary National Spelling Bee and DES Director Mr. Mark Ray.

(l-r) RBC Royal Bank AVP Country Manager Ericka Rolle, Tsuwana Augustine, winner of the 2023 RBC Royal Bank Primary National Spelling Bee and DES Director Mr. Mark Ray.

(l-r) DES Deputy Director Mr. Elroy Bryan, Nickela Davy, third place in the 2023 Lions Club of Grand Cayman Secondary National Spelling Bee and Lion Daniel Reid.

(l-r) DES Deputy Director Mr. Elroy Bryan, Angeline Ewers, second place in the 2023 Lions Club of Grand Cayman Secondary Natinoal Spelling Bee and Lion Daniel Reid.

(l-r) DES Deputy Director Mr. Elroy Bryan, Haley Christian, winner of the 2023 Lions Club of Grand Cayman Secondary National Spelling Bee and Lion Daniel Reid.

Tsuwana Augustine and Haley Christian emerged as Cayman’s top primary and secondary school spellers, respectively, at the 24th RBC Royal Bank Primary National Spelling Bee and the 41st Lions Club of Grand Cayman Secondary National Spelling Bee Championships.

Primary School Champion

Tsuwana Augustine, a ten-year-old student at Creek & Spot Bay Primary School, claimed the title of Primary School Spelling Bee Champion on 28 November after a nail-biting tiebreaker-round battle with Cayman International School’s Nandhini Rajesh. The competition took place at the John Gray High School Performing Arts Centre.

The winning word was “exculpate.”

As the 2023 Primary Spelling Bee Champion, Tsuwana received an iPad and the coveted Spelling Bee trophy, courtesy of RBC Royal Bank.

Nandhini Rajesh secured second place, while Savannah Dewar and David Williams of Red Bay Primary tied with Theoline McCoy’s Cathy Vinothkumar for third place.

 A total of 53 competitors from 15 public and private schools across the Cayman Islands participated in the Primary School Spelling Bee.

Secondary School Champion

The following day, on 29 November, John Gray High School’s Haley Christian emerged victorious as the Secondary School Spelling Bee Champion after two thrilling rounds. Angeline Ewers of Cayman Prep and High School placed second, and Nickela Davy of Cayman Academy took third place out of the 28 competitors. The winning word was “echelon.”

The secondary school Spelling Bee competition took place at the Lions Centre.

Spelling Bee organiser, DES Senior Customer Services Manager Mrs. Kimberly Kirkconnell, expressed her admiration for the competitors’ exceptional performance.

“ The confidence of the students was most impressive and I would like to thank them and their schools for making the competitions so successful.  All the students who participated should be very proud of themselves!  It’s not easy to get up in front of a crowd and perform, especially when that performance involves spelling difficult words.”

Lions Club of Grand Cayman’s Spelling Bee Chair Daniel Reid echoed Mrs. Kirkconnell’s sentiments, applauding the exceptional performances of the secondary school competitors and expressing gratitude to all who contributed to the success of the event.

In her remarks at the primary competition, Area Vice President (AVP), Personal Banking, and Country Head for RBC Cayman Islands, Ms. Ericka Rolle, noted, “It has been an absolute delight to witness all of these remarkable students showcase their spelling prowess, initiative, and skill. The comprehensive learning process embedded in this experience allows children not only to grasp the definition, pronunciation, and origin of words but also to build their vocabulary and excel in reading and writing. I am confident that the participants here today will take away more than just language skills; they will develop self-confidence and communication skills that will serve them well in the future. Congratulations to all the winners, this afternoon and to everyone who participated on a job well-done.”

The RBC Royal Bank Primary National Spelling Bee and the Lions Club of Grand Cayman Secondary National Spelling Bee play a significant role in fostering a love of language and promoting academic excellence among Cayman’s youth. The competitions provide a platform for students to showcase their spelling skills, expand their vocabulary, and develop essential communication and confidence-building skills.

Watch the 24th RBC Royal Bank Primary National Spelling Bee and the 41st Lions Club of Grand Cayman Secondary National Spelling Bee Championships online at the Cayman Islands Government’s YouTube channel.


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