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Jun 9, 2006

Santa Elena student takes top honours in Spelling Bee

Story PictureCompetition. C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N competition. Spelling is a fundamental subject in primary school education and no event better illustrates that fact than the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee. Today district champions gathered in Belmopan for the final face-off and as News Five’s Alyssa Noble reports, these dedicated students are in it to win it.

Alyssa Noble, Reporting
They?ve spelled practically every word in the dictionary and today, after a gruelling final round, Roijen Rodriguez of Santa Elena Primary School triumphed as the Coca Cola 2006 National Spelling Bee winner.

Roijen Rodriguez, Santa Elena Primary School, First Place Winner
?I feel great. I just want to thank my family, my teachers, my friends, principal and I thank God also because I prayed and he answered my prayers.?

Ava Coye, Roijen Rodriguez?s Mother
?I?m so proud of him. I thank God and I pray that people like the younger children will take him as an example.?

Rowan Martinez of San Narciso R.C. School placed second in the competition while Andre Lanza of St. Joseph R.C. Primary School took third.

Rowan Martinez, San Narciso R.C. School, Second Place Winner
?It feels good because all those nights we were studying for hours and then you?re coming up at second place. It feels exciting.?

Andre Lanza, St. Joseph R.C. Primary School, Third Place Winner
?I feel very happy because not every student could get this opportunity to get this third place. I would like to congratulate the first and second place winners, and I would like to thank my school for supporting me.?

Today?s challenges were the culmination of months of preparation.

Gabriel Martinez, Rowan Martinez?s Father
?An average of about three hours everyday and sometimes we felt that he was giving up and we tried to get him to do his studies, but lately we were up, I would from like nine o?clock to one-thirty in the morning.?

Adelaida Guerra, Andre Lanza?s Teacher
?Whenever I would come across any words I thought would be challenging, I would give him the words for him to study. But, he did most of his studying on his own. He did most of his studying at home. He said that his mom would help him a lot too.?

According to the event?s sponsor, Bowen and Bowen Limited, the fight to finish first is pushing learning to new heights.

Nick Pollard, Sales Manager, Bowen and Bowen Ltd.
?I compare it to the World Cup. It?s gotten to a level where the coaching is taken very seriously. Some of these students are being coached from they are in Standard three, some of them are even trying out at Standard four so they can come back and try again. And what we are seeing now is that it?s very competitive. The intensity is extraordinary.?

And while some students hit the books in anticipation of next year?s showdown, organizers say they?ll be trying to come up with new words to add to the lists.

Alyssa Noble reporting for News 5.

During today’s event, it was also announced that the winner of the annual banner competition was Orange Walk’s La Immaculada R.C. school.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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