TRURO – Magnificently.
In a word, that describes how well two local students fared at a recent provincial spelling bee and is also how Izabelle Chase claimed the top prize.
This was the second time the 11-year-old student from Truro Elementary School student has won the Regional Educators Program Provincial Spelling BEE, hosted by the Black Educators Association (BEA).
“I practiced a lot and it was pretty unbelievable it happened again,” said Izabelle.
Sebastian Barrington, 11, a Grade 5 student at Harmony Heights Elementary School finished third and Ashton Parker-MacRae, 10, of Saint Andrew Junior School in Antigonish took home second-place honours.
The challenging academic competition, which draws up to 100 spellers annually from across the province, was held at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) in Halifax. The event is held in May each year in recognition of the United States-based Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Izabelle said spelling is one of her favourite things because, “I’m good at it.”
After making it through to Round 19 of 20, her confidence soared when she heard her last word “magnificently.”
“I was really excited because when they said the word, I knew I was going to win. I had trouble pronouncing the word. I couldn’t get it out of my mouth,” she said.
The super speller said prior to the start of the bee participants were each given a number in the order they would spell words.
She was the first to begin and the last to leave the stage.
“I was pretty nervous but I had No. 1 for my number and I thought it would be easier because I’d be going first in the rounds,” she said.
This was Izabelle’s second first-place win, fourth time in the BEE and the sixth time a student from the Northern region of Nova Scotia has taken home first place.
There is a secret to her success that she shared with the Truro Daily News.
“Practice makes perfect,” she said. Then added, to quash nerves during competition: “I watch the wall and not look at anyone else.”
The annual competition is open to African-Nova Scotian students aged eight to 15 years in public, private and home-based schools and any student enrolled in the association’s Cultural Academic Enrichment Programs (CAEPs).The purpose of the bee is to focus on English language basics; foster learning of African Nova Scotian students studying the English language and introduce and encourage students to compete in regional, national and international finals.
Winners took home BEA Education Awards of $500, $300 and $200, along with trophies, a tablet computer for the first-place speller and gifts and gift cards from local businesses for the top three spellers.
For more information on the REP Provincial Spelling BEE, Regional Educators Program, the CAEPs and all other BEA programs, visit: www.theblackeducators.ca .