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Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley has lauded the performance of Jamaica’s Spelling Bee Champion, Regina Bish, for placing 16th at the recently concluded 80th Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship in Washington, D.C.
“You have done your country, your parents, your school and indeed yourself proud. On behalf of the Government and the people of Jamaica, I want to congratulate you on your exemplified performance as Jamaica’s representative in the 80th Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship,” the Ambassador said. “I think it is an excellent development that Regina has performed so well and all Jamaicans, wherever we live, are proud of her achievements. Getting into the semi-finals, and in a short space of time, she has taken Jamaica to greater heights. This speaks volumes both of her own intellectual capacity and also the kind of programme of development that Reverend Glen Archer has done,” he added. The Ambassador was speaking at a brief ceremony when the Spelling Bee Champion and her coach, Mr. Archer, called on him at the Embassy in Washington.Professor Shirley had high praise for Rev. Archer, for demonstrating over a period of time, great commitment to the development of the young people and that, “Jamaica is grateful for his contribution to the development of the Spelling Bee.”
Ambassador Shirley also commended the Gleaner Company for its continued support of the development of the Spelling Bee competition in Jamaica. In his remarks, Rev. Archer said he was honoured to be a part of the Spelling Bee programme. He saluted Regina for her sterling performance in the programme and commended the Gleaner Company for its consistency for so many years in promoting the competition.
“Considering that Jamaica placed 16th and that 11 of the top spellers above Regina’s position were repeat spellers, testifies to the fact that we are a strong country with our programme and that when we are good at what we do, we are very good internationally,” he said. Karin Cooper, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Manager of the Gleaner Company said that a part of the Gleaner’s challenge was to continue to help Jamaica to develop good citizens and if “we begin with the children by getting them involved in the Spelling Bee, we will develop citizens who think, reason and ultimately we will have a better country.”
“That is why the Gleaner continues to give solid support to the Spelling Bee competition, which continues to unearth wonderful talents like Regina. This can only speak well for what the future of Jamaica holds, if there are young people like Regina,” she added. In her response, the Spelling Bee Champion said she felt proud that as a first timer, she was able to do her country proud and to have placed 16th in the competition.
Regina was accompanied by her mother, Janise Manning, and Miss Sonia Morris. Also at the ceremony were Sharon Miller, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy, and Janet Madden, Community Relations Attache.