Both Candice and Rodrigo showed confidence as they took their places with the rest of the participants. The official Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee Jingle signaled the beginning of the competition and Ms. Silvana Woods, Mistress of Ceremonies welcomed everyone to the contest. St. Luke's Upper School sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem followed by a short invocation. Mr. David Craig of Bowen & Bowen Ltd. then gave the welcome address proceeded by Mr. Oscar Reyes, Assistant Education Officer, who gave the opening remarks. Ms. Woods then introduced the contestants and officials. Quiz Mistress, Mrs. Brenda Armstrong, Principal of Wesley College, then took over the contest. The participants then read a number they had picked randomly and a word was called. After the end of round three, the first eliminations took place. Eleven of eighteen students went on to the next round including Candice and Rodrigo. During this time the congregation was treated to a poem written by Mr. William Neal and read by Ms. Roberta Usher of Belize Elementary School. During the second round the participants did their best to stay in the final. After this round, members of Ladyville R.C. School entertained with an original song entitled "Belize da fu me and yo" accompanied by drums and guitar. Round three was a test of their true spelling abilities. A reserve list was used, which the students had not studied. During this round each contestant was given two words to spell. At the end, Candice Chavannes of St. Peters and Jamie Lee Rock of Grace Primary School emerged victorious. Both students will represent Belize District at the National finals that will be held April 23rd at Belize City Center. Of the two, Candice Chavannes had a perfect score, making her the first place winner.
Judging the Spelling Bee contest were Mrs. Lynda Moguel, Educator; Mr. Leroy Green, Lecturer of Belize Teachers College and Mr. Felix Ayuso, Associate Editor of the San Pedro Sun. Other officials were: Mr. Lennox Tillet and Mrs. Ardeth Rudon, Principals at Biscayne Government School as scorers; and Mr. Rudolph Conorquie, Teacher of Trinity Methodist School as timekeeper. Mr. Norris Williams, Principal of Guadaloupe R.C. School was runner and Mrs. Carol Babb, Principal of Queen Square Upper School was stage manager of the event.
After the winner was declared Mrs. Rita Coleman, Principal of Hattieville Government School gave the vote of thanks and Mr. Libby Ayuso, Sales Supervisor of Bowen & Bowen awarded all the participants with gifts. All the semifinal contestants received a Coca-Cola watch.
A new edition this year was the creation of A-Zee, the spelling bee mascot who made an appearance at the contest. A-Zee also randomly selected audience members to spell words and they were awarded with prizes. Congratulations to Candice and the best of luck to her at Nationals.
Finals for the Belize District Championship were held on Thursday, March 11th, 1999 at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. St. Mary's and The Good Samaritan Schools were representing Belize City while Maskall R.C. School and our own San Pedro R.C. School represented the Rural Zone.
The games started at 10:00 a.m. sharp. Good Samaritan School, (sub-champs), went against the rural champs Maskall R.C. School. At the end of regulation time Maskall defeated the sub-champions 3 - 0.
It was time for the champions, St. Mary's School to play against San Pedro R.C. Dolphins. Game started very rough and intense. Everybody wanted to win; however at the end of regulation time San Pedro came out victorious with an auto-goal performed by the St. Mary's own defense.
The last game was held to find out who was going to represent Belize District in Punta Gorda on the 12th, 13th and 14th for the National Finals. Maskall R.C. School went against San Pedro R.C. Dolphins.
The game started with each team being defensive. Each team cautiously tried to run over the rival. At the end of the regulation time the game ended at a nil-nil score putting the game in extra time. Nothing much was accomplished after the extra time and the game had to be decided by penalty shots. Maskall boys were able to score one goal on penalties meanwhile the Dolphin Boys did it three consecutive times giving the victory to the San Pedro squad. The Most Valuable Player for this game was the goal keeper, Chayanne Gomez who was able to stop three penalty shots.
The staff and coaches of the San Pedro R. C. School would like to congratulate the boys for a wonderful job done in Belize City.
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