Getting life leads to winning Bee

PUHI — Natasha Abadilla loves instant replay.

A judges’ decision in the seventh round gave life to her in the 2006 Kaua’i Complex Area Spelling Bee at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School cafeteria in Puhi recently.

Stumbling over “decrepitude,” the St. Theresa’s School speller’s coach filed an appeal that was mulled over by the judges at the 2006 Kaua’i Complex Area Spelling Bee.

The two remaining spellers, Abadilla and Chaslene Halog of Waimea Canyon School, fidgeted nervously in their seats while the judges reviewed the videotape.

After several tense minutes, the judges ruled in favor of the speller due to a pronunciation error, and Abadilla was allowed to continue.

Both students made it through “collateral” and “liturgy” and “calefactory” before Halog stumbled on “inundation” in round 10.

Abadilla correctly spelled “siccative” to earn the top award in the Bee.

Both Abadilla and Halog will be winging it to O’ahu to take part in the Hawai’i State Spelling Bee that is scheduled for later in March.

A good-sized crowd turned out to watch the competition between the top 16 spellers from Kaua’i’s elementary and middle schools who vied for the right to be called Kaua’i’s top speller.

Pronouncer Jan TenBruggencate of The Honolulu Advertiser, one of the major sponsors of the Bee, encouraged the spellers to take advantage of the practice rounds to deliberately misspell words so they would better have a feeling of being on the stage before the large crowd of parents, friends and relatives.

Many of these relatives appeared to be more nervous than the spellers, noted Daniel Hamada, state Department of Education Kaua’i Area Complex superintendent

As the competition unfolded, “pious,” “mesa,” and “wallop” sent some of the competitors packing, as three more mis-spellings in round two whittled the field down to a dozen spellers.

“Satchel” and “allocate” took their toll in round three, before “disintegration” dropped the number of spellers to less than 10 following round four.

Spellers included Marc Abundo, Danielle Ola, Nicole Isoda, Brandi Yamamoto, Jayme Jacinto, John Gawaran, Theo Papa, Paulina Felcher, Victoria Terrazas and Angelica Tran.

School coordinators for the event sponsored by the Kaua’i Area Complex, The Honolulu Advertiser, and Diversified Awards & Engraving, included Jocelyn DeCosta-Caalim, who also served as one of the coaches for Eleele School.

Judy Waite of Kilauea School also served as a coach, as did Sarah Iha of Waimea Canyon School.

John Cox coordinated the Kapa’a Middle School effort, Kris Fujita did the honors for Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, and Sister Delores Wisnicky coordinated St. Theresa’s School contestants, where she also served as a coach.

Other coaches included Terri Kakutani, Leighton Kabutan, Michael Scharbo, Erika Sakamoto, Debbie Higuchi, Rene Relacion, Walter Souza and Anne Maxeiner.

Billi Smith, the West Kaua’i complex school renewal specialist, and members of her staff who spearheaded the Bee, said a taped showing of the event will be aired at a later date on “The JK Show.”

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