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(JAMAICA GLEANER) –– Clarendon’s Darian Douglas is The Gleaner’s Children’s Own Spelling Bee champion for 2018-19.
Douglas, the charismatic Glenmuir High School student topped 13 spellers from other parishes to lift the trophy and raise the profile of coach Errol Campbell who has now had three consecutive winners.
Campbell was at a loss for words as he was being interviewed by Television Jamaica host Dahlia Harris after the finals at the station’s studios.
“We worked very hard,” he later told Harris.
The 11-year-old Douglas was elated with the win.
He said he wanted to preserve all three handicaps “but two words wrong is better than three words wrong.”
The champion will now move on to represent Jamaica at the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Washington DC later this year.
“I had to do quite a lot of work, but I want to thank my coach Errol Campbell,” Douglas added.
Douglas spelled the championship word S-P-A-V-I-N-E-D after champion girl Rhonoya Anderson misspelled the word E-C-D-Y-S-I-S.
Anderson is the first contender from Portland to emerge as a runner up to the Spelling Bee champion.
She was emotional after her placement and had to be consoled.
In the run-up to the finals, Anderson said she wanted to elevate Portland since it was not known for excelling in competitions like The Gleaner’s Children’s Own Spelling Bee.