74.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, February 6, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesSt. Croix's Yad Bass Wins Territorial Spelling Bee, Moves on to Nationals

St. Croix's Yad Bass Wins Territorial Spelling Bee, Moves on to Nationals

(from left) DOE Deputy Commissioner Dr. Sarah Mahurt, Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis and DOE Commissioner Dr. LaVerne Terry congratulate 2012 Territorial Spelling Bee champ Yad Bass after his win Friday
After correctly spelling “waterzooi,” “genre” and “tokamak” in the final three rounds, Ricardo Richards Elementary student Yad Bass sealed his win in this year’s Territorial Spelling Bee competition with the word “sauerbraten.”
This is the first year that Bass, a 6th grader at Ricardo Richards, has competed in either the district or territorial bee. Speaking afterward about his strategy in preparing for the competition, he said that in practice sessions with his coach, he focused on word origins and what prefixes and suffixes to attach.
That coaching came in handy during the twelfth and final round Friday.
“I just kept saying to myself, ‘I know this word,’” Bass said later. “I knew the origin of the word, and after that I just kind of had to put it all together.”
First-time coach Karen Rene-Bess said she also taught Bass to take his time when spelling – a strategy that her pupil also used to his advantage at several points during the competition as he continued to ask moderators for word definitions, sentences and pronunciations.
“It gives me time to think and build the word in my head,” Bass said later.
Coming in second Friday was Kyle Fennessey from the Good Hope School, who impressed the crowd and the judges with his quick spelling of difficult words such as “homogenous,” “pochismo,” and “coffle.”
St. Croix District Spelling Bee winner Aaron Harris came in third Friday. Also competing from St. Croix during Friday’s competition were: Khaien Donowa (Claude O. Markoe Elementary), Imani Evans (Pearl B. Larsen Elementary) and N’bari Alexander (the Church of God Holiness Academy).
St. Thomas-St. John competitors were: Jelani Byron (Yvonne Milliner-Bowsky Elementary), Deglanni Fleming, (Antilles School) Amaru Jeffery (Lockhart Elementary), Shania Querrard (New Testament Academy), Silas Wisehart (V.I. Montessori School and International Academy) and Leon Zamore (Calvary Christian Academy).
On hand to welcome and congratulate the students Friday were Lt. Gov. Gregory R. Francis, Education Commissioner Dr. LaVerne Terry, Deputy Education Commissioner Dr. Sarah Mahurt and St. Thomas-St. John Insular Superintendent Jeanette Smith-Barry. Language arts coordinators from both districts were also there to offer support.
The Spelling Bee is sponsored by the V.I. Daily News and V.I. Department of Education.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.