Nassau, The Bahamas – Before cheering supporters, family, Ministry of Education (MOE) officials, and his coach, and backed by a contingent from Lyford Cay International School (LCIS), Roy Seligman, Jr., the Scripps National Spelling Bee fourth place finisher, and the first student from The Bahamas to advance to the finals -- expressed thanks to the nation.
“The support of everyone here has been amazing. It’s been a great experience to represent The Bahamas,” said Seligman.
He acknowledged the Minister of Education the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd for his support, and thanked the Ministry of Education for making the occasion possible.
Twelve-year-old Seligman, a seventh grade student, advanced through three virtual rounds of competition – preliminary, quarter-finals and semi-finals. On July 8, he represented The Bahamas in the final competition in Orlando, Florida – the only international competitor in that final round.
The Ministry celebrated his success on July 23 at the Ivy L. Dumont Building, and presented him with a trophy and a check in the amount of $500.
“We’re going to make this country proud through young men like this great man here today,” said the Minister.
“You’re an inspiration to all of us, not just the young people, you’re an inspiration especially to young people as to what is possible if one applies oneself, one has the support, one is dedicated and focused; one sees the goal and is willing to do what it takes to get there.
“You’re not just a champion for this time; you’re a champion for the ages: You’re a three-peat champion in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, how absolutely amazing.
“This country owes you an enormous tremendous depth of gratitude that at such a young age you’ve made us so very proud.”
“The entire nation was watching. When the news that our Bahamas Spelling Bee Champion advanced to the finals as one of our endeavoured competitors, the world held its breath. We had to see this without interruption. It's an amazing feat: No one in The Bahamas has gone this far. You were the only international competitor to be in the final round.”
The Ministry of Education also recognized Mrs. Katina Seymour, Seligman’s coach and LCIS Assistant Head of Lower School, during the ceremony. (BIS Photos/Kristaan Ingraham)