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HomeNewsLocal news51 Years of Excellence, the Territorial Spelling Bee Awards its Winner

51 Years of Excellence, the Territorial Spelling Bee Awards its Winner

Joseph Greaux Jr. receives his trophy and other goodies from V.I. Education Commissioner Dionne Wells-Hedrington. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

The Territorial Spelling Bee celebrated 51 years of excellence Tuesday as the V.I. Education Department crowned the 2024 champion, eighth-grader Joseph Greaux Jr. from the Eulalie Rivera PreK-8 School on St. Croix.

The competition went 15 rounds, with Greaux taking the top prize by correctly spelling “shenanigans.”

The spelling bee took place at the Free Will Baptist Church on Tuesday morning and welcomed coaches, families and friends of the spellers to witness the competition. Greaux’s coach was Susan Jones. Twelve participants went word for word until the ultimate speller reigned supreme. Second place went to Free Will Baptist student Rayan Felix of St. Croix, and third place went to Kaiden Lettsome-Dowe from Antilles School on St. Thomas.

“Their achievements reflect not only their individual commitment to excellence but also the unwavering support and guidance provided by their families, teachers, and mentors. We commend them for their hard work and dedication, and we are immensely proud to have such bright young minds representing the Virgin Islands,” said V.I. Education Commissioner Dionne Wells-Hedrington.

Schools that participated included Lockhart K-8 School, Antilles School, Moravian School, Calvary Christian School, Yvonne M. Bowsky Elementary School, Free Will Baptist School, Ricardo Richards Elementary School, Good Hope Country Day, Pearl B. Larsen PreK-8 School, St. Patrick’s School, Ulla F. Muller Elementary School, and the Eulalie Rivera PreK–8 School.

The participants of the 51st annual Territorial Spelling Bee. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

The winner of the 2024 Territorial Bee received a free one-year subscription to Britannica Online Premium, a one-year subscription to the Scripps National Spelling Bee’s official dictionary — the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online Dictionary — a two-night stay at the Caravelle Hotel, two gift certificates from Seaborne Airlines, a laptop computer from Ten Sleepless Knights, $500 towards travel from B20 Maintenance for the National Competition, and a gift certificate from Carambola Zip Line.

The winner will also be awarded a six-night stay for two at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, during the week of Memorial Day 2024 to represent the USVI in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Spelling bee participants also received gifts along with the second- and third-place winners.

The winners of the 51st annual Spelling Bee, from left, are Rayan Felix, second place; Joseph Greaux Jr., first place; and Kaiden Lettsome-Dowe, third place. (Photo courtesy V.I. Education Department)

“As we celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s winners, we also encourage all students across the territory to consider participating in next year’s Territorial Spelling Bee. It is an opportunity not only to showcase your ability but also to challenge yourself, learn, and grow,” added Wells-Hedrington.

Gift sponsors for the Territorial Spelling Bee include the Education Department, Cane Bay Cares, Scholastic Incorporated, G-Max Gas Station and Supermarket, Pearson Education, R&F Carpentry and Home Improvement, LLC, Carambola Zip Line, Caravelle Hotel, The VI Cat, Undercover Books and Gifts, Seaborne Airlines, Crucian Gold, Ten Sleepless Knights, Seaside Market, The Market, Plaza Extra East, Cost-U-Less, and Reliable Rentals.

The prime sponsor of the St. Thomas/St. John District Spelling Bee is the Office of the Insular Superintendent, while the prime sponsor of the St. Croix District Spelling Bee is Cane Bay Cares. The Virgin Islands Daily News is the prime sponsor for the Territorial Spelling Bee.
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