US Ambassador lauds National Spelling Bee Competition

United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Stephanie Sanders Sullivan, has touted the National Spelling Bee competition, saying it helps students increase their vocabulary, learn and understand word concepts, and develop English usage which will help them for the rest of their lives.

She was speaking on Saturday at the 2022 Spelling Bee Championship attended by the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Deputy Minister for Education, Gifty Twum Ampofo, Country Director, Young Educators Foundation, Ms Eugenia Tachie Menson, competitors and parents.

Mrs Sullivan noted that the competition also helped competitors develop self-confidence, public speaking skills, the ability to thrive under pressure, and compete with equanimity, win or lose.

“As a former educator and as Ambassador representing the United States of America here in Ghana, I can attest that each of these skills will give you a boost to a successful future,” Mrs Sullivan said.

The U.S Ambassador to Ghana, who started her career as an English teacher, said educational development and literacy were U.S. government priorities in “our robust bilateral partnership with Ghana.”

She said education opens doors to professional, personal, and cultural opportunities, adding that for more than 10 years, the U.S. Embassy has proudly supported Ghana’s National Spelling Bee, which is the only Bee from the continent of Africa whose winner has qualified to compete in the Scripps Spelling Bee in the United States.

Mrs Sullivan told the attendees that the Embassy’s Education USA programme helped Ghana’s 2016 champion, Afua Ansah, who was crowned Ghana’s first finalist in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC in 2016, and she is currently studying at Cornell University in New York State, the state Mrs Sullivan grew up in.

She said “For those families who might want to consider U.S. education after secondary school, I encourage you to become familiar with Education USA, the U.S. Government’s advising service for students who want to study in the United States. Parents and guardians, you can find information about Education USA on the Embassy’s website or by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @USEmbassyGhana.”

While commending the competitors for joining the ranks of more than 8,000 students who have benefitted from the spelling bee programme, the U.S Ambassador to Ghana said their presence at the championship, regardless of the difficulties they went through over the past two years, was proof of their resilience and commitment.

“I think we are all grateful to be here in person!  The last two years have not been easy for anyone.  I’m sure all of you had challenges.  But your participation in today’s competition has proven you are resilient and committed.”

Mrs Sullivan reminded the competitors that the pursuit of academic excellence required hard work and dedication, and that although her grandmother used to drill her in spelling “I confess, I wasn’t nearly as good at it as all of this year’s competitors are!”

 N’Adom Darko-Asare of DPS International Ghana was adjudged the winner of the 2022 Spelling Bee Championship, with Nii Odartey Manyo-Plange of The Roman Ridge School and Aarna Tailor of DPS International Ghana as runners-up.


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