By Oswald Brown
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bahamas National Spelling Bee champion Donovan Aaron Butler failed to advance to the finals of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee currently being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbour, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.
Following completion of the third round, the 45 finalists who accumulated the required 27 points from combined scores of the written test and two preliminary spelling rounds were announced shortly after 6 p.m.
Donovan spelt both of his words – AZULEJO and AGRIBUSINESS – in the preliminary rounds correctly, but he apparently did not get sufficient points in the written test to surpass the 27-point requirement.
Among the 284 spelling champions participating in this year’s competition, one is doing so for the fourth time, there are eight three-year repeaters, and 61 two-year repeaters. There are 141 girls and 144 boys.
Donovan, a 13-year-old eighth grade student at St. Augustine’s College in New Providence, won the Bahamas National Spelling Bee at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island on March 20 when beat out 19 other finalists.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is largest and longest-running educational promotion in the United States administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company and local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also, The Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea. Its primary purpose is “to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.”
Donovan was sponsored by The Nassau Guardian. The Bahamas has participated in the annual event since 1998.
MAY 26 Update: NATIONAL HARBOUR, Maryland – Bahamas National Spelling Bee champion Donovan Aaron Butler correctly spelt the word AZULEJO this morning in Round Two of the preliminaries of 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee currently underway at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbour, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. Butler is presently on stage competing in Round Three, the afternoon session, and as Speller 243 should be called to the microphone around 4:30 p.m. for his third-round word. During the luncheon break, the Bahamas National Spelling Champion is pictured with his parents and siblings in the lobby of the Gaylord National Resort. From left to right are his father David Butler, Donovan, his mother Laurieann, and sister Darnelle. In foreground is his brother Daunte.