It was a repeat victory for 10 year-old Roy Seligman who emerged
as winner of the 23rd Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee at the Atlantis Resort on Sunday, March 8th, 2020. The Lyford Cay Intl student said he was humbled after winning for the second consecutive year over his 21 competitors. “I feel very relieved. I knew I would have better competitors this year, so I studied very hard.”Seligman said shortly after receiving his trophy. Seligman’s father, Arthur Seligman said his son’s victory was the result of a collaborative effort. “We’re very proud. Roy worked very hard. I’m very proud of his coach and my wife who have spent a lot of time and effort with him. It was an advantage that he won it last year, but this year’s competition was much tougher. It was a team of very good students here, and I thought they all did very well.” Mr. Seligman stated. Sharing similar sentiments was Seligman’s coach, Katina Seymour, who reiterated the significance of partnerships in education. “This was a collective effort of school and home. This is what we have been saying about education in general. There has to be a partnership; and today is an example of a good partnership.” exclaimed Ms. Seymour.
Placing second was Seligman’s fierce competitor 11 year-old Gabriel Ajul from Exuma Christian Academy. The pair faced off in round 13, the final round of competition. Maria Sanchez, 11, of St. Anne’s School placed third after completing 12 rounds of competition. Meanwhile, last year’s 2nd place finisher, Kevin Williams from Yellow Elder Primary, was this year eliminated in round 9. The contestants also participated in a written competition which was held on Friday, March 6th, 2020, in the Prince of Wales Room at the Atlantis Resort. This resulted in a double win for Seligman, who also placed first in this aspect of the competition. Receiving second and third places were Kevin Williams and Gabriel Ajul. Out of 22 contestants, 13 were from New Providence, and nine represented the Family Islands. Unfortunately this year, due to the adverse impact of Hurricane Dorian, there were no participants from Abaco.
According to Assistant Director of Education, Student Services, Patrinella Rolle, the majority of this year’s BNSB contestants were not only first-timers; but they represented a younger age demographic, with most being at the primary school level. Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd was present at the competition and commended the 22
BNSB contestants for their persistence and drive to excel. He admonished parents, teachers, and all stakeholders to encourage the participants in the great work they are doing. First, second and third place winners received cash prizes in the amount of $750, $500, and $250 respectively, in addition to other prizes. This year’s first and second place BNSB winners will head to Washington in May to participate in the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee.