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HomeNewsArchivesSpelling Bee Winner Comes from a Family of Champions

Spelling Bee Winner Comes from a Family of Champions

March 25, 2005 – With the proper spelling of the word "lymph" 14-year-old Lindeon Davis of St. Thomas earned the title of spelling champion for this year's Territorial Spelling Bee contest Wednesday, which took place at the Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School on St. Croix.
But for the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School eighth-grader, competing and winning are not new to him. Davis was also the champion a few years earlier in the 2002 Territorial Spelling Bee. He has also participated in Mathcounts, the Science Bowl and this year's V.I. History Bowl.
To top it off, Davis comes from a family of winners. His siblings Linnesha, 21, and Lindelle, 17, now college students, were both Territorial Spelling Bee winners having won in 1997 and 2000 respectively.
"I think of this one as the one that really matters to me," Davis said of this year's win, as he sat at his family's dinner table Friday. He said the first time he won he didn't expect to because he was entering the competition for the first time. Davis said this year's competition was easy for him.
Davis and his parents Lindy and Blondelle studied together two hours each day for several weeks in preparation for the Spelling Bee, but their hard work paid off.
"It was a team effort," Lindy Davis said. Lindy said he helped his son to learn the Greek and Latin roots of several words to help him remember their spelling and meanings.
While Lindy used the Webster's Third New International Dictionary to go over "hundreds of words" with his son, Blondelle Davis used the Paideia – the Scripps-Howard spelling guide.
"You really have to be committed going into it, because it is very difficult and time-consuming," Blondelle said, adding if parents don't assist their children when entering these types of competition, there is no way they could handle it on their own.
The effort did not only benefit Lindeon, but his parents as well.
"You learn a lot as you study," Blondelle said. "It's a learning experience for us, as well."
Because of his win, Davis will once again represent the territory in the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee in Washington in May.
He added, "I hope to make a good placing in the Bee in Washington." Davis said if he places in the top 20, he would be satisfied.
Lindy Davis said he is "a bit disappointed" with the Territorial Spelling Bee.
"It's too easy, so when the kids get to the national level, they find it extremely difficult," Lindy said.
Blondelle, who has made the trip three times in the past and will be accompanying her son for this year's trip to Washington, agreed.
"The Bee is very nerve-wrecking in Washington," Blondelle said, as she spoke of the large stage, "lightning" rounds and difficult words. "Some of the words used in Washington are not even in the Paideia. We are really at a disadvantage down here."
The Davises said they would do all in their power to prepare their son for the challenge.
Blondelle smiled as she looked at her son. "I'm very proud of him because he has come a long way," she said. "Trust me, Lindeon wasn't even a speller when he started."
Lindeon agreed. He said Mathematics is his favorite subject, although he loves to read, especially "Harry Potter."
The Davises looked at the numerous trophies and plaques in the living room and sighed, facing the fact that their last son was competing in the Bee for the last time.
"We'll try and help someone else's child," Lindy Davis said. "We can't let all this knowledge go to waste."

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