HEAVY METAL: Gibbison (centre) flanked by other top three finishers and The Gleaner Company's Nordia Craig and Christopher Barnes.
A solid reminder that it remains the undisputed heavyweight parish of champions, Clarendon has produced this year's Gleaner/Children's Own National Spelling Bee Champion in boy wonder Tajaun Gibbison, who emerged victor ahead of the 13 other talented parish candidates inside the Pegasus Hotel Ballroom on Wednesday, February 5.
Coached by the enduring guru Rev. Glen Archer, who famously supervised Jodi-Ann Maxwell to capturing the highly coveted Scripps Howard trophy in 1998, Gibbison (a 13-year-old junior at Knox College) showed his mastery of tricky palabras when he nailed the deciding word H-Y-P-O-G-E-U-S-I-A (meaning: a reduced ability to taste things) to resounding cheers and applause.
Now turning his attention to representing Jamaica at the Scripps Howard tournament, set for May in Washington DC, Gibbison led home a top five that included Kingston's Chaunté Blackwood (Wolmer's Prep; Champion Girl); St. Catherine High's Javane Johnson; Westwood High's Lariecia Harvey (Trelawny) and Joshua Grant of Ardenne Preparatory (St. Andrew).